This past election season and its aftermath are riddled with controversy, in which each day seemed to hold a dilemma worth talking about, and perhaps even worth fighting about. While it's likely that many Americans spent the past few months arguing with their coworkers, friends and family about issues splashed across local newspapers, some chose to take their quarrels to social media as it allows people to attach snarky comments to the news articles they dislike, and spread their opinions to the world at large.
Making off-the-cuff posts and responses like this is part of human nature. In fact, scientists suggest that just spending time on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can make people feel both impulsive and aggressive, almost guaranteeing that they'll pop off in haste when they see something they dislike. But sometimes, it pays to just slow down when bad things happen online. Comments like this are easily shared, and if they're attached to your name, they might show up on Internet searches people make about you.
How to Express Opinions on Social Media Without Causing a Reputation Crisis
Be respectful of others. When was the last time an insult resolved a debate? Many would argue that resorting to name-calling in debate is a sign of defeat rather than a showing of strength. So instead of resorting to a tactic that doesn’t even work in traditional debate, perhaps it is best to leave this type of behavior off a platform that could echo your words for the unforeseeable future.
Don’t post content that alienates or discriminates against specific groups of people. No, we’re not talking about bad drivers or some other vague, innocuous classification. Like it or not, we live in a culture of racial, religious and sexual sensitivity. Even if your boss or a job recruiter agrees with your opinions behind closed doors, he or she may also agree that those opinions should not reflect upon the company, which could affect your employment status.
Remember that the real world is still a much better venue for venting political grief. Instead of tweeting a response, meet up with a friend and express yourself in person. Take a run with the dog and pound out your anger. Use a pen and write your thoughts down on paper. Just don’t do something online that you'll regret.
The golden rule is: be kind to one another. It’s not always easy, we get that; but neither is the process of walking back inflammatory content or comments you posted online. And if you have a Freudian slip over the Internet, know that the professionals at InternetReputation.com offer comprehensive Reputation Management services to remedy a nasty post that won’t leave your digital past.
Protect your reputation online.