Angry? Disagree with something? Before you respond, read this!

Don't be a train wrecker!I see this happen every single day.  Online conversations that turn sour and then there is a train wreck going on that you just can’t take your eyes off of…Welcome to the world of colliding views called “social media”.

We all have ideas on how children be reared, who should marry, what clothes are appropriate…the next thing you know people are all pissed off.  Well, the financial services community doesn’t escape any of this either.  I have my way of managing assets and Warren Buffet has his [hmm…he might be better at this…just saying] and the world of social media can innocently enough provide a space to openly share ideas, but not realize these differences are colliding toward each other like a train wreck.  Ouch!

When opinions differ, people get very heated and it becomes a war on whoever is challenging someone else’s belief in something.  Words are exchanged and the next thing you know a catastrophe is a result:  maybe you unfollow that person…or worse, maybe you quit speaking to someone altogether.  All because of a idea exchange that went horribly wrong.

Rick Warren is quoted as saying, “Wise people are peacemakers, not troublemakers.”  I love this idea with social media.  Am I guilty of being a troublemaker?  You bet I am – – but I will say I work really hard toward the peacemaking part of that equation.  I’m not saying you must be completely apathetic, but looking for a fight and charging like  a renegade toward someone is not the basis of successful books like Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People!

My advice is to avoid the train wrecks online.  If you see a conversation that you totally disagree with and feel what you have to say can be shared in a way that is kind and diplomatic, then proceed with extreme caution.  If you have even a hint of anger as you pound your response out to someone or some company, walk away from the computer for a day and see if you still feel you need to share that thought.  More than likely your firecracker feelings will have diffused and you may have salvaged a relationship due to choosing to become a peacemaker vs. a troublemaker.

Have a bigger, better and more BIONIC day!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

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