Published: 22nd August 2020
That social media secret: How to be more respectful and understanding on social media
The Coach speaks about steps we can all take to be more respectful and understanding of other people across social media platforms
Social media has turned out to be more effective than mainstream media in recent times. It has umpteen uses and is a fantastic marketing tool. But its efficiency to pass on information to a large number of people tends to become a danger leading to unexpected, unpredictable and unnecessary outcomes. The Bangalore Riots that took place on August 11 this year is yet another example of the above said, as one post led to all this violence, destruction of property and social unrest. Not many of us realise the DESTRUCTIVE POWER of social media and hence, I felt it extremely important to speak about SOCIAL MEDIA RESPONSIBILITIES today.
The first thing that we all need to be aware of is the fact that SOCIAL MEDIA is a public forum. It is as good as speaking in the middle of town with a loudspeaker. The reaction to these posts are unpredictable and I too have many times refrained from voicing out my opinion as it leads to unnecessary debates and to avoid the time that goes into clarifying my intentions. I begin with this aspect to bring in AWARENESS to each of you and also to help you be PREPARED for the outcomes. Remember that EVERYONE IS A CRITIC first and be prepared to handle criticism ASSERTIVELY so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. Many, including me, have BURNT BRIDGES due to trivial humourous posts, imagine the damage when it is something serious.
I also agree that we are empowered with the freedom of expression and I’m definitely not trying to trample on your freedom of speech, all I’m trying to emphasise is that we need to be very careful with our choice of words or be prepared to face the consequences. Here are my ABCs to being responsible on social media:
A - Affiliations: Each of us has our own interest towards specific things, people, principles or ideologies. We have to be very careful when we post anything and the best thing to do would be to refrain from CHEAP MUDSLINGING or use OFFENSIVE words but rather STATE FACTS with references and voice our support.
B - Beliefs: Voicing your beliefs is one thing but putting down, demeaning or criticising another person’s belief while doing so is what usually starts the fire!
C - Communal: Targetting a community is something that should be avoided to the maximum extent. This is a never-ending debate as one cries secularism but the other is trampled or even vice versa. The only way this can be sorted is when the individual SELF REALISES. Trying to establish peace goes a long way especially on social media.
If required to voice out your support, do so by being polite and always get your facts right! Whether others follow these guidelines or not, let us LEAD BY EXAMPLE. I couldn’t help but remember the scene from the movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai in which a person spitting paan on the door of his flatmate stops after seeing the neighbour clean up his mess. Let’s try to unconditionally BALANCE if not clean up the mess and do our best to invoke SELF-REALISATION that’ll stop the metaphorical SPITTING.
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj