I have been thinking a lot about how we conduct ourselves on social media lately. Social media is an interesting means of communication. There is the sense of wanting to be liked by the people that we interact with. These people that we may or may not know in real life. We can nonetheless talk to them, we can discover who they are as people and what their goals are. People are social, so we want to build a community, we want the friendships. As such, we monitor our conduct. If we know that somebody on our page, somebody that we respect, feels differently about something than we do, we may not blog about it, or we may present our post as less opinionated than we actually feel. It’s an interesting concept. We do the same thing for the people that we see face to face on a regular bases, but we are able to build the same kind of relationships with people through social media, and we may never actually meet these people.
But there is also the flip side of that. There is the sense of “I’ll never meet these people, so it doesn’t matter what I say.” If you feel somewhat anonymous, then it’s easier to say whatever you want, whether it be something that you view as a hard truth or even something that is mean or inappropriate. This can be a good thing at times, but it so often leads to anger, fighting, and bullying. I think that it is important to look at what we write before we send off our words and determine if they are words that we would be willing to say to someones face.
I like both sides of on-line interactions. I like being able to build relationships with people that I will never be able to meet, but I also like to write what I want and not have to worry about it having a negative affect on my personal life.