What You Put Out Into the World Matters
Posted by: cherylble | on February 13, 2012
When you are commenting on a social media platform, you have the ability to say anything. And the ability to share openly can be a power that comes laced with a two-edged sword. The speed of social media allows you to consume information and judge the content or the person who shares it in an instant.
This past week, I saw individuals and groups attacked. I saw people respond and wish to respond in ways that made me wish to see the Twitter Fail Whale show up just to give us all some extra time and space to minimize the emotional replies.
Last night, I watched the Ides of March which was a fascinating political movie which explores choices and affiliations that are made. And without spoiling the movie for you, I was struck by the quote at the end of the movie where the narrator says “What you put out into the world matters.”
If that message wasn’t strong enough, the sermon in church today was about character and integrity. We were encouraged to realize that character is not what you believe, but how you live your beliefs when no one is looking that matters. In a heartbeat, you can destroy a reputation that you spent years building.
This is especially true in social media. If you have little to no reputation and begin attacking others, you may create a reputation that will harm yourself for a long time. If you share awesome content, help people and build a great reputation, your close network may ask if you’re having a tough day, but will likely forgive some errant tweets. To those who don’t know you, however, you risk creating barriers with folks you don’t yet know.
Basic Communication Rules can be found in the famous Robert Fulghum Poem “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” I think it bears reading today and consider if we have truly learned these lessons based on how we communicate online:
These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.