I’m going to share a little secret with you, I love to talk about things. All sorts of things. Because of my personality type, I find conversation invigorating. I love hearing other people’s perspective, being challenged about my own thoughts, and learning new things. However, on social media this can get me in hot water.
What I see as an engaging conversation, others receive as a heated debate.
What I consider just a quick answer, others take as a curt response.
What I view as a follow up response or further thought, others consider being argumentative or trying to prove my point (or be right).
I’ve written in the past about how I believe conversation for the sake of conversation is a lost art… or how some people seek to be offended. I even sided in agreement with those who have said that I’m responsible for what I say, not how others receive it.
I’m not so sure I agree with that last statement, entirely, anymore. If we are friends, I should be more in tune with your sensitivities… and how to engage you in conversation better. Even more so on social media platforms where you tend to know people a little more superficially than those you are connecting with in every day life. I’ve failed miserably in that area. Ultimately what I was considering as a healthy, on going, conversation has been received as being argumentative (and stubbornness, and I’ve even been called a bully).
I have to take some ownership in that. If I’m lacking the where-with-all to recognize the conversation is taking a wrong turn, or that the tone of the conversation is changing, then I’m not being responsible for my words & contribution.
So I have decided on my new social media rule of 3, when it comes to posts about current events, opinions, controversial topics, etc.
- I will wait 3 minutes before responding to anything on social media. In other words, I am choosing to not react immediately with the reply button. I will take 3 minutes to consider if I add value to the conversation, am I just talking to talk, or should I step away.
- I will not reply more then 3 times, unless specifically asked a direct question. Which means I will need to choose my responses wisely.
- I will not engage in hot button topics with people I have known for less than 3 months.