January 19, 2019

Social Media Thoughts

Let's face it. 

We've all done it. 

Someone posted something on social media, under a news article, or where ever, and we knee-jerked and wrote something right back without thinking it through.  It didn't help them, and it didn't help us. 

How did it happen in the first place?  We don't talk to people face-to-face like that.  Why do we do it on the keyboard?

I've been going along posting things on social media and under news articles for quite some time.  The first time it really hit home how poorly I was communicating, was when I was on a social media site for mechanics. 

The various sites for information on vehicle repairs have picked up on the social media trend and now have spaces for mechanics to post questions and answers about repairs with other mechanics across the country.  I was recently posting a question about a problem I was having trouble diagnosing.  The other mechanics answering my question were for the most part polite, but one of them was just rude, "Haven't you figured that out yet?  Everyone knows the basics here."  And on it went. 

Believe it or not, a mechanic can go for thirty years without seeing a problem that some mechanics would think to be basic.  When it shows up in your shop it's the first time, and it sometimes throws you for a loop.

When I saw his response to my question, the first thought that came into my mind was, "We write what we think, we don't think what we write." 

Now if I was talking to my colleague down the street about a problem, I wouldn't talk to him that way, and he wouldn't talk to me that way.  We would be polite and understand that maybe he has never seen this problem before in his shop and give him some respect.

Since that encounter, I have changed how I communicate on social media.  I have come to expect that when we post something, it is bound to get negative feedback, just because, we all write what we think, we don't think what we write.  However, I now write down what, I, want to communicate on a separate platform.  I read it out load to myself several times and make changes.  I wait several hours, or days before I decide to take it off that platform and paste it to social media. 

You know what I found out?  I rarely post it if I think about it.  I end up erasing it. So now I am hardly posting anything at all.  It sure does prevent a lot of trouble with relationships.  You ought to try it. 

Don't write what you are thinking.  Think, before you write.

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