I’m quite sure the social media drama/rally that ushered us all into the year has not gone by you unnoticed. It’s been nothing short of entertaining and enlightening all in one. I intend to enunciate on the fragility of social media and how the least expected speech/post can trigger a whole lot of unpleasantness. But before I go further, I want to share this little story with you, I believe it should help you understand my direction…
So I was walking down this busy street late in the night sometime last month when I heard the exchange between a mother and child. From all indications, the mother had given an instruction and the child was being awfully stubborn. I really do not know how long they’ve been at it to justify the mother’s next line of action, but I couldn’t have taken more than a few steps when I heard the sound of an object being launched at someone. Of course I had to look back to be sure I was out of harms way and was greeted with the sight of the boy trying to avoid the impact of the object.
Being my typical self, I had already visualized the different possible outcomes of that one action. I saw the child holding on to his left eye while the usual dark red substance we all know reeled out. I saw the mother suddenly realizing what she had done, frantically search for first aid. I saw them seated in the corner of a hospital alley waiting to be attended to by an eye specialist. I saw the look of regret on the mother’s face when the doctor informed her that the little boy’s vision would be permanently impaired even after a surgery that would be costing them all their life’s savings and more, hoping she could undo her doing.
Thankfully, the night didn’t end on that note but the fact that it could have kept bugging me and took me down this line of thought and I can very well relate it to the events of last month – It has almost become a norm in our society (our social media space included) to see people let their emotions rule them, they act first then do the thinking later.
Social media has indeed been a blessing for improving brand images and projecting ourselves in a good light. However, it is not the place for airing dirty laundries neither is it the place for making other users’ lives miserable. It is not supposed to take away our ability to feel and be felt, and of course, it should on no account make us less emotionally intelligent.
A friend wronged you, you let out fire on them publicly (in this case – social media) and think about the many ways they’ve been good to you in the past in your closet later… They call it “Calling Out” – Calling the Offender Out. What happened to good old and calm dialogue (probably went out on us while we were too busy playing the “accuser of the brethren” part).
You see your partner chatting animatedly with a colleague or maybe your partner wronged you, you believe what you want without consulting them, proceed to delete their pictures on your social media accounts (this thing again) and sometimes vent your spleen right there, putting your relationship on display and subjecting it to an unnecessary strain.
You haven’t heard the end of a tale but you go out armed with your inconclusive side to it and cause a ruckus only to realize there was indeed more to it than you cared to listen. Of course, you could care less the damage your inability to Iisten attentively is likely to cause. I can go on and on and I’ll overcrowd this space with real life instances of this craze.
But then, let’s take a momentary pause and ask these germane questions: How many times have you (or someone you know) acted on an inconclusive narrative and felt like a fool afterwards? How many times have you (or someone you know) taken a major step based on the half-baked information handed down to you, only to chew on the fingers later?
It’s sad, petty and really discouraging how even those perceived to be intelligent and have a good head on their shoulders fall for this gimmick all the time, all in a bid to come across as witty and sardonic armed with badass retorts. Someone throws you a shade, you catch it and wreck everything that’s ever mattered to you,
instead of you to use it as a cover. Could be the person felt you’ve been under the sun for too long and decided to throw you a cover (shade) – Just Kidding.
But really, can we stop making decisions based on a lopsided twist and refuse to move on with this bandwagon called “calling out”. Can we quickly heal from this disease called shortsightedness and cyber bullying/attacks. In the end, it sucks the life out of our efforts (everything we’ve built) and relinquishes us to the very base.
And while we’re at it, it would be nice to get on a good dose of humor and learn to see these things for what they really are, understanding what should and shouldn’t get attention. I’m pretty much aware that the human mind does not function as a button, coming up and going of at will, and I do know that there are folks who exist for the sheer joy of getting under people’s skin but I’m also a firm believer in the fact that you alone determines what gets to you.
Yes, the cyberspace is generally a volatile place to be but social media indeed takes the cake. The more reason we should all seek to understand its dynamism and ensure that in all our dealings, our actions does not compromise the image we project.
More importantly, it would do us much good to note that we are the first and most important representation of our brands, and we would do well to represent cautiously and mindfully.
What are your thoughts on social media and its many theatrics? Let me know what you think right at the comment section.
Get dramatic, don’t stop sharing!