Yesterday I learned a valuable lesson about social networking, and that lesson is this:
Whichever social networking platform you prefer, It’s clearly an invaluable tool for getting and keeping in touch with friends and family, and useful for sharing photos and other things.
That said, social networking has an inherent danger. Like text messaging, you can’t grasp the subtleties or nuances of a conversation when you’re reading a status update, tweet, or whatever other services call it.
Also, because even though the people reading the things a person says are supposedly “friends,” they often don’t really know each other, or at least not well.
So while whatever point you’re trying to get across may be true and valid, you never know who you’re going to offend by making it. And there are clearly also some people who sometimes use social networking to say things they would never say in person.
Because of this, there are times when something that starts with a perfectly innocuous question often ends in ugliness, hurt feelings, and possibly even far reaching consequences.
Mainly, this is because you never know what’s going on (or has gone on) in a person’s life when they read your stuff.
Consequently, you also never know when they’re going to flip out on you and start puking ugliness or saying things they won’t be able to get back.
The other thing to consider is a person needs to weigh the material they’re going to share and decide if a huge and impersonal platform is appropriate.
I would also offer this: if one has a problem with something said, a simple email or private message can go a long way toward clearing things up. It can also avoid dozens of people feeling the need to attack or defend a person or point.
It’s possible to confront someone in an appropriate manner and resolve a situation without hurting feelings or having a person blow a gasket, which is what happened yesterday.
I’d also say that if you’re a person with thin skin and a hair trigger, then social networking is probably not for you. But if you do choose to use it, stay away from contentious topics.
For my part, because I have a problem with not saying what I really feel, or not calling BS BS, I will probably hereafter restrict my comments to things like “lol,” and only share things like