I find social media is a really useful way to really know someone in a way you often can’t in person. When a status update is the equivalent of having a rant down the pub for all to hear, it’s amazing how many people don’t see that and post things that, if said out loud, would shock people. I also find it funny when people post things and don’t check the source (e.g. that comes from a BNP fan site)
So what can one do when one is faced with this scenario? A lot of people find it hard to ignore or resist the urge to comment but here are some options I have thought about
- Like it – passive aggressive non-committal and sarcastic. But could easily be taken the wrong way
- Commenting – ultimately it’s the internet and no one cares what you think…unless of course you count your online footprint which will now contain comments associated with a negative or controversial statement – even if you weren’t the one who made it. That could come back to haunt you. Also I don’t know anyone who has had their opinion changed by something a friend has said on facebook.
- Deleting the person who wrote it and everyone ever who writes something dumb online. Well this can be an option and a lot of people are more scared of the awkwardness caused by deleting someone online than the controversy of the statement made in the first place. A friend recently pointed out to me that by deleting people you disagree with you also end up sheltering yourself from any opinion other than those that conform to your opinions. I think it is healthy to find differing opinions online and to engage in debate but some people don’t know how to react or take a differing opinion. Sometimes by chiming in one can be accused of “hijacking” the comment thread. I don’t think you can hijack, unless of course you’re trolling?
- Avoid clicking on the links at all, I always do this and end up reading things I think are rubbish and I end up adding to their online traffic which makes them look better. DON’T FALL INTO THAT TRAP!
Sometimes, I find myself getting angry about “celebrities” especially those who I follow on Twitter. I started following some of the female finalists from last year’s Apprentice and I have been mainly disappointed by the public image they seem to have. I read an article by Luisa Zissman today and I thought it was just SO ironic based on her image etc. I was half tempted to tweet her about it but then I thought, I don’t actually know a thing about this person and what would she care about my opinion anyway?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with her message of earning your own money and not relying on a man I just guess I’m so out of touch with celebrity news I don’t tend to come across a lot of people who aspire to be WAGS… it seems sort of outdated? Although the internet lets you see what people are REALLY like there are also times when you wonder whether a short snappy article in a tabloid really sums a person up…It’s so easy to respond rapidly to something someone posts but, as with a lot of messages I receive I often think it’s best not to respond immediately but instead take a deep breath and reply later.
I am happy to see some youtubers recently telling their millions of fans not to engage with the “haters”. I wish someone had told me when I was younger that you don’t need to have the last word in an online argument. I don’t know how many stupid arguments I had with friends via MSN… but I know it was one too many and it’s not actually worth getting bogged down in online debates.
Unless of course it is a learning experience…
Speaking of which today’s word!:
Absurdism: The contention that the attempts of man (or woman!) to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail because no such meaning exists