I remember the days before social media.
They were halcyon days. They were peaceful days. They were “The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music” days. Okay, maybe not.
However, if you disagreed with someone, then you argued with a person and ONLY that person. Maybe you did it via letters which were then burnt. Or perhaps you called who you needed to call on your phone and agreed between the two of you to never speak of the argument in question again. Or….you used my favorite method- you met up in person to break bread…and decided to never speak to each other again.
Now, the last one wasn’t the happiest of endings. However, what all three of the aforementioned methods had in common was that arguments were private. Nobody knew your business unless they were there themselves, or you spoke of it to the world. Which you most likely didn’t…especially if you lost the fight.
However, nowadays, with the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, it seems as though airing dirty laundry in public is a national pastime. We keep receipts of Twitter beefs from ten years ago in order to fire people. Facebook snapshots are now de rigeur in case one participant in a group fight decides to delete their incendiary posts. Heck, even YT now has “Drama Channels” who aggressively store every Snap, Instagram post, Tweet and Facebook rant in order to increase their own CPM share with their analysis of the latest drama between YT stars.
And where are we regular users of social media? In medias rex of it all. We are in the middle of it, descending into the depths of madness and lost words. Now, I can’t lie….I’ve gotten into some major arguments on social media. I even got into two arguments tonight with people I didn’t even know! I was typing so much trying to keep with the arguments that my fingers went numb. Have you ever tried typing on your cell phone with numb, overheated fingers? #Nevertryit #JustSaying
The point of this rant is to ask you to think before you get in your next online argument with strangers or people that you know. The fact of the matter is, these arguments are no longer private, and they are costing us big-time offline. If you are job-hunting, you had best believe that prospective employers are looking up your social media handles to see what you’re saying because they care about the morals and ethics of the people who join their companies. If you’re dating with intention, then chances are that your dates have looked you up on a Google search to see if you’re secretly a crazy axe-murder from Kenosha or worse, an alt-right artisan from Seattle who believes in a White ethnostate. Heck, if you want to work in social media, companies might search to see if you’re too controversial to work with. If you are……bye-bye marketing campaign.
I’m not saying this to preach to you. I’m saying this because I’ve seen too many friendships go down in flames due to misunderstandings over social media posts. I’ve seen too many families fight over politics in Facebook feeds, and I’ve seen a rapper celebrate cutting ties to their child once they turned 18 on Instagram. If you have an argument, meet up in person and hash it out. If you can’t agree to disagree, then agree to stay out of each other’s way on social media. As Leonard Lauder said to his protegees, “Never put bad news in writing.”
Great advice for all of us to follow.