I admit that I open up too much online. I have my blog #WillRun4IceCream, and at times I’ve allowed too much personal info to be put out there. But that’s my choice. It’s also who I am. And actually, it’s my business and my right to share how much or how little that I want to share.
But I’m finding, with Facebook especially, that people feel they have the liberty to say whatever it is that they feel. And sometimes, those things shouldn’t be said. Opinions are like rear ends; everyone has one. But sometimes it’s best to sit on those opinions and not air them.
I am currently an injured runner dealing with several ongoing issues. What I thought was a hamstring injury has turned out to be a little more complicated. And I felt personally attacked this week when comments were made on Facebook about an upcoming local race. I didn’t publicly ask for anyone’s advice on the race. I was just given advice, and then reprimanded for not taking said advice. It made me furious, and it made me stop and think about social media.
Social media can be a great tool, especially for people like me who live away from family. It’s been a great way for our family to keep in touch, and to be a part of our daily lives. But the downside is that people sometimes feel that since the conversation isn’t face to face, that they have the liberty to say whatever it is that they want to say without thinking about how the other person may receive it.
Have you ever read the comments on online news articles? I read news articles online, but I’ve never commented on one. I’m not necessarily guilty of giving advice to others, or commenting on things that could be considered hurtful. But I am guilty of (in the heat of the moment) posting something purely out of emotion.
My advice to anyone on social media is to think before you type. If you would be embarrassed to say it out loud to someone, chances are you shouldn’t type it. And sitting behind a keyboard, a tablet or a phone, doesn’t magically give you a PHD or the authority to give your opinion to others – especially if they didn’t ask for it. Think before you type – your friends will appreciate that you did, and you can save yourself from some regrettable moments.