Nobody can punch you in the face on Facebook. In a way, that’s too bad. The distance and anonymity created by social media eliminates any risk of physical harm when you’re acting like an ass.
Incivility is an epidemic in our culture, but nowhere is it expressed to the degree that you find in social media. While some people are consistently rude whether they’re talking with you face to face or Tweeting from around the world, social media provides a mask that brings out the worst in otherwise civil and polite people.
Now we’re hearing that some people are experience extreme degrees of stress, anxiety and depression over what people say on their social networks. In the worst case scenario, this has even led some to commit suicide.
Folks- knock it off!
First, to the social media bullies:
- Don’t post anything you’re not willing to say to someone’s face
- Remember that some people actually DO know who you are- and they’re reading the crap you post…and judging you by it
- Your page is your page…you don’t have a right to say whatever you want on someone else’s page
- Everything you post becomes part of your permanent reputation in the world…think about that before you post
Now, to the targets of social media bullies:
- Stop letting your feelings run away with you- if your tormentor had any minerals, they’d say it to your face instead of hiding behind a Twitter handle
- It’s your page…when someone is rude, delete them
- Why let someone who doesn’t know you ruin your day? Stop it…
- If social media is painful, get off it!
At the end of the day, there are very few people who actually count in your life. I’m not trying to be cold, it’s just that too many people are investing too much emotion into relationships with unknown “friends” they’ve never met.
Instead of exposing yourself to all this pain, just delete the bastards and move along! If nothing else, social media also gives you the opportunity to network with potentially thousands of like-minded people…even if none of them live near you. If someone is being a jerk, just forget them and find someone new.
If social networking is causing you authentic mental anguish and anxiety…stop it. You wouldn’t stand there whacking yourself in the head with a hammer, would you? If it hurts, knock it off. Find something else to do. Go for a walk!
(If you would actually hit yourself in the head with a hammer- or you are truly feeling severe emotional distress, seek the help of a professional immediately. This is NOT a joke.)
Here are my rules for social networking, use ‘em if they help:
- My wall is MY wall. If you acted the jerk in my home, I’d kick you out. If you act the jerk on my wall: D-E-L-E-T-E!
- You don’t have to agree with me, but you will be respectful. Call names, use disparaging language or attack someone personally and you’re gone.
- If I see you acting disrespectfully toward someone else on their threads, I “unfriend” you. If you did it there, you’ll eventually do it here.
- I don’t need you in my life. PERIOD.
Life consists of more than 140 characters. Get off the net and enjoy some of it!