As I continue my debut into the realm of social media, I have to say there are times when I am surrounded by people who are quick to put an opinion out there without thinking and without an open-mind. We all have those moments where our personal filters just stop working. Palm meets face…you know what I mean.
Sometimes our thoughts and words can become so strong in our mind we just need to let them out or we feel like we’ll explode! I get it, we’ve all been there.
Regardless of what comes out when we need to begin to understand the impact of our words. What the consequences may be for putting something out there, who it will affect, who will share it, and what others may think and feel.
What goes online stays online:
Why is this important? Because what goes online stays online, whether you delete a post or not. It’s a new frontier of social media and beyond in creating your personal brand. This “brand” we create is composed of all our posts, pictures, and all other media. The more you have online, the larger the brand you have. The younger generations realize this and are carefully curating their social media to make sure they are “on-brand” with what they promote. That’s a lot of pressure for today’s youth. Especially at a time when they are figuring themselves out…who they are, who they want to become. I feel gratitude for not having social media as a teenager as well as empathy for the teens today who often are more careful than their parents online because they know what’s at stake for them…reputation, college admission, employment, and social circles. Woah…talk about pressure!
Today we are “friends” with many people who do not know the “real” us and interpret our words in ways we do not mean. They may not have the open-mind we expect when we put something out there. What we say matters. I’ve seen people not receive job offers because of what they’ve posted on social media. I’ve seen families torn apart and I know quite a few people personally and professionally who are affected by what others say.
So I think this quote today rings true as something we can learn from for those of us posting on social or just conversing with others. Words are words and they have meaning.
When you open your “mouth” per se, think about where you want others to put those words. Do you want them to ignore what you say? Take action? Respond? Provide feedback? What are you looking for and what do they need to do with what was said?
Before you put something out there, have an open mind to consider different views, what those views mean to you, and how those views may affect those you express them to.
I believe that by opening your mind before you open your mouth, you can develop the ability to create space yourself and others.
A space to gain new perspectives.
A space to get curious about what yourself and others have to say.
A space to grow and develop your ability to maintain an open mindset in an opinionated world.
So in conclusion, be mindful of what you want to say before you say it. Let others know what you are trying to express through your words and how you want them to participate in what you are putting out into the world.