I’ve been in rant mode for the past couple of days after reading the story I’m linking to. The basics are that 5 teens between the ages of 14 and 16 not only watched a man die by drowning, and not only egged him on and made fun of him while it was happening, but shot video of it from their phones and then posted it online.
You read that correctly. They posted the video on YouTube, and not a single one of them thought it was important enough to call 911 or try to help the man to safety. Even if it’s possible that he was trying to commit suicide, I can’t imagine standing around laughing at someone trying to kill themselves even if that was the case. Continue reading Is Social Media Causing Our Children To Lose Their Compassion?→
There are a lot of great relationships that can be made via social media. I have met people from all over the world who I can talk to at any time and have great conversations with. It’s always possible that I could potentially do work with some of them, and I have hired people from other countries here and there to handle some of the small things with either a website or blog that I wasn’t in the mood to do or didn’t have the time for.
As with anything in this world, there’s a whole lot of mean people also. Sometimes, the mean people are actually pretty nice most of the time, and then suddenly out of nowhere they look like they’ve just lost their minds for one reason or another.
Unfortunately, you don’t always know what will trigger someone into being mean. Over the years, I’ve had people show their mean streak on things I’ve posted that should have had nothing to do with them. Other times they internalize something you’re written as though you’re talking personally about them. If you saw them every day and wrote something that might make sense. But I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve written commentary about parenting without knowing that they might be parents.
You know what? Sometimes the truth hurts, yet we all need to be ready to deal with the truth. A few weeks ago I posted something on Facebook that looked like a case of racism that occurred in Arizona. One person, who didn’t live in Arizona and had no reason to comment at all, decided it was racist of me to post such a thing without knowing all the details. The argument made no sense whatsoever because I hadn’t made any commentary on it, though I certainly could have, and whatever her trigger was prompted her to need to comment on it; no idea why.
Then there’s a guy I’m connected with on Facebook who’s kind of a passionate person. Every once in a while he gets something in his head that just consumes him and he starts writing in caps to make his point. That’s known as flaming in the online world, and it’s frowned upon almost everywhere you go. I finally asked him why he did that because it made him look like he’d lost control, wouldn’t ever make me see things his way because of the delivery, and that he needed to learn how to calm down because almost nothing in this world is that serious.
Why am I mentioning all of this? I always advocate that almost every business should have an online presence. I say that social media can bring both joy and business. I also have stated that one needs to be careful in how they say certain things if they decide to be controversial; if you dish it out you have to be ready to take it.
Yet, sometimes you can put up something relatively innocuous that gets negative attention by someone, even if it’s something positive. When that happens you have some choices to make, and some of those choices are better or worse than others.
You can decide you don’t want to be on social media anymore and go away; that’s never good.
You can decide to fight every single person who disagrees with a position of yours. Sometimes you have to do it, but other times you can ignore those people.
You can decide to make sure you never say anything to upset someone. The problems with that are one, you never know what will trigger someone, and two, if you go out of your way too much your online presence is going to be boring; no one will want to read anything you have to say.
You can decide to call this person out, bash them on your blog and throughout social media, post copies of everything you can find on them and try to ruin their lives. You might succeed but you’ll also fail because people will know if you can do that to one person you can do it to anyone, including them.
You can act like it never happened and continue doing what you’ve been doing. Sometimes this is the way to go, but as I said above, you might have to take some kind of stand or even think about deleting comments and such, and then deal with that as an issue.
Overall, there’s only one right answer, and it ties in to all of the above. You always should take some time to think about your response before making it. I’ll admit I’m not always good with this, but I’m good at least 95% of the time.
You shouldn’t make too fast of a decision unless you were prepared for someone to dislike what you had to say, but you also shouldn’t wait too long to respond. Whether you know it or not people are watching; if it can affect business in any way making the best choice possible needs thought behind it.
Are you scared? Don’t be. Sure, bad things can happen, but for the most part if your goals are pure, you’ll be just fine.
I sometimes don’t understand people. At the beginning of this month I wrote a post and added a video asking the question what’s wrong with being nice. I went at that question in a different way than what I’m going to talk about today, and yet it’s as pertinent to this topic as any other.
Back in December I wrote a post saying how much I loved Instagram, now that it can be accessed through Android. I still love Instagram. What I find is that I don’t necessarily like all the people there.
I love the people following me; thank you to anyone following me there. For anyone who’s not connected with me there I’m mitch9359. I love seeing your pictures and I hope you don’t get tired of looking at all the food pictures I put up.
Occasionally I like to take a quick look at an attractive lady or two; hey, I’m a guy. There’s the page that gives you 15 random photos, and occasionally I take a look. It’s amazing how many likes those pictures get… okay, I guess it’s not so amazing after all. What’s amazing are some of the comments.
I don’t know when it became a legitimate thing to decide that just because someone put a picture of themselves somewhere looking nice that you, some pig, has the right to say what you want to do to that person; you know what’s being said. Or talking about someone’s anatomy as if you know this person and thus have privileges that no one else does. How tasteless and childish can people be?
You know what stupid people? Your name gets highlighted, thus anyone can follow you back to see who you are or what images you’ve put up. I’ve gone this a few times and I have to admit that I’m amazed. It’s not all young punks writing this junk. One was obviously a devout Muslim because all the pictures on his site were Islamic religious icons, and any male was wearing the traditional headdress. So, you’re telling the world that you could care less about your religion because you can demean women anytime you want to, or are you saying that a pretty woman doesn’t matter to you because, since she’s sharing her body, she’s not chaste in your world and thus it doesn’t count?
I saw many other people who were saying the same sorts of things, and yet when you went to their page they made it seem like they were relatively nice people, putting up images that no one would ever think to object to. I really thought for a couple of moments about saying something on some of these pages, but decided I didn’t want to go there.
The same thing happens on YouTube. Stupid idiots will make comments and say all this trash and filth, yet when you visit their pages, for the most part they’re pretty straight. A few of them are as trashy and nasty on their own page, in which case you know there’s nothing much you can do about them. Well, that’s not quite true.
On YouTube, if you care, you can delete comments you don’t like. Not that I get many comments but if some came in with language I didn’t support I’d just up and delete it. On Instagram, you can’t delete comments; at least I haven’t been able to figure out how you can do it if you wanted to. It’s possible you can go online and do it, but I’m just not sure. However, if an image has more than a thousand comments, who wants to go back and read any of that garbage?
I’ve been writing a lot this month about behavior, mostly bad behavior, and maybe it’s a good thing this month is ending. I keep asking is that what we’ve become, and is this really the future of this country and the world, people deciding that no one else’s feelings or sensitivities matter? Let me know. In the meantime I’ve embedded a video from our Hot Blog Tips Hangout on the topic of negative feedback, which I led, that talks a bit more about this same thing:
Last year I wrote a post titled When Things Get Personal On Blogs. That post was about a tete-a-tete I got into with some folks over the topic of Akismet and spam and such. It got a lot more responses than you’ll see if you visit the post because there were a lot of attack comments that came here based on that post that I simple deleted. I knew they were coming, and I knew I was going to delete them. I didn’t need that on my blog, I didn’t trust the people I knew were going to send them (whom I mention in the post), and, as I’ve always said, this is my space, I pay for it, and I get to decide what stays and what goes. Some might call it censorship; personally I don’t care. You behave in someone else’s space or deal with the consequences.
by Olivier Hodac via Flickr
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as the last couple of months have been somewhat interesting around here. I’ve had some things going on in my personal life that made me not be as diligent as I should have been. I feel as though I allowed certain behavior to go unchecked around here, and I don’t like myself for that. It’s not behavior that I exhibited either; that’s probably the worst part.
Not that I’ve always been nice here. For the most part I am, but I will go after someone that goes after a friend of mine or someone that’s done something ice for me or others. Loyalty is one of my big things; I think I’ve said that before.
Last September I wrote a different kind of post titled De-Stressing Life By Not Commenting. On that post I indicated that when I felt I couldn’t comment on something without getting into an emotional firefight that I just wasn’t going to do it anymore. As I said, some people strive on attack mode; I don’t. I don’t thrive at all on negativity; never have. I don’t expect everything to be Andy Griffith, but I do expect a certain amount of decorum.
And I expect that here. That’s why I feel so bad that I’ve allowed a few people to be attacked in some fashion here over the past couple of months. And none of it was constructive; it was personal, and that just shouldn’t have been allowed. And none of it was specifically directed to me until last week; that makes what I allowed to happen become even worse, because I should have nipped it in the bud much earlier.
I can guarantee this won’t be a problem in the future. From actually last week, but since I’m writing today I’ll say today, I will not allow any more personal attacks in comments on this blog, or any other blog I write. If I feel the comment is personal, whether it’s towards me or anyone else, it’s gone, plain and simple. If you want to personally attack someone, take it to a newspaper site since they don’t ever seem to want to censor anyone. Behave or be gone; no one wants to deal with that mess.
Why am I doing this? I want to encourage people to comment here, and I want it to be a safe haven. We can disagree with each other, but we’re going to treat each other with respect. I can’t change the world, but I can certainly change things here. I pay for this, and thus my rules. In a weird way I was inspired to finally write this post after reading a post by Marcus Sheridan titled The Lie that is Online Transparency and ‘Being True to Self’, where he talks about people that cuss a lot saying they’re just being true to themselves and how he believes they’re lying to themselves. So do I, and this has always been a no-curse-words zone, since I don’t cuss (and yes, I did just interchange ‘cuss’ and ‘curse’); never have, never will.
So, for those of you that may have found certain posts here with comments that might have put you off, please know that I apologize for that and know that you will never have to worry again. For those of you who had to deal with a personal attack in the last couple of months, that being John, Ken and Chris, I’m sorry I didn’t step in earlier. I’m not putting up with it against me; I’m certainly not ever going to put up with it against anyone else again.
That is, unless it’s nice; if someone makes a love connection make sure to invite me to the wedding, as I love wedding cake. 🙂
A strange thing happened to my wife and I last Saturday.
Some Saturday mornings, we decide to go to what’s known as the Regional Market of Central New York. People from all over central New York sell all sorts of things there like fruits and vegetables, candies and cakes, candles and perfumes, fish, clothes, foods, etc. My wife goes almost every Saturday. I’m kind of a part time guy; I invariably have a good time (when it’s warm weather), but you have to go early if you want to be close to everything, otherwise you could have a long walk coming.
This Saturday was going along like any other. I was saying hello to babies, being my naturally friendly self, while my wife was looking at produce that she and a friend were going to share later. This particular week there happened to be a Christian group booth in the middle of one of the display areas, and as we got there I got distracted by some honey roasted cashews on a table to my right. I’m not sure what my wife was doing, as she was slightly behind me, but I heard the man ask her if she would take a flyer he wanted to give her. She politely said no, and his response was “are you ready to die?”
Because I knew she wasn’t in danger I didn’t turn around, but kind of out loud I said “I’m thinking that’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever heard.” The women in front of me heard it and laughed, and one of them turned around and gave me a high five. I accepted it, but I was thinking “what the heck was that all about?”
In the next display area we came to, a man was smiling and holding out his flyers. This time I said no thanks and walked on, but my wife decided to take his flyer. On the front was what you see in the image: Muslims for Peace. Later on, while sitting in the car while my wife went into a new hair salon to ask some questions, I pulled the flyer out and read through it, and found it somewhat illuminating.
No, I’m not about to go out and become a Muslim. However, I have to say that the two messages my wife and I got literally within minutes of each other were drastically striking and contrary. If my only experience ever with both Christianity and Islam had been these two men, you know which way my support would have gone. The way information was presented was way different, and even though I understand the message the Christian man wanted to convey to my wife, in a public forum with lots of other people around and one chance to make a good impression, he uttered a statement that could have been taken as a threat, but was definitely taken as one of strange intolerance for someone else’s position, all from deciding she didn’t want a flyer.
Lately here I’ve been talking about influence and social media marketing, but in the past on my other blog I’ve talked about consequences and perception. Giving people a reason to dislike you more because you said something wrong rather than stating an opinion someone else may or may not like is almost never worth it if you really care about getting business, making friends, etc. I’ve talked a lot about how social media can be your friend, but sometimes it can also hurt your online and offline business if your timing is bad and your words not quite correct. Of course, as I’ve always said, if you’re ready to deal with the consequences you can say anything you want.
Of course, I have no religion or faith, so I’m not going to be changing to anything any time soon. Still, if I were at Hogwarts I’d probably have given 50 points to some house and taken 50 points away from another. I wonder who ended up scoring better on the day once my wife and I left last Saturday.