The alternative title of this blog post is “my mother always said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” but apparently that’s too long and ruins the SEO or something…
Social media is a funny place. It’s a community, a space where we can share our feelings, our thoughts, our opinions, our photos, what we are eating, wearing, where we go on holiday, random photos of our cats. You catch my drift?
It’s very eclectic. I think that’s why I like it.
But it can also be a place where people think they can share their opinions, and sometimes (ahem, a lot) people say and do things they wouldn’t dare do in real life. They would get punched in the face or have no friends left if they did. Social media has given us a level of freedom to express ourselves in a way that we don’t in real life.
The thing is. Social rules and etiquette still apply and the age old rule that if you haven’t got anything nice to say, you should basically keep your mouth shut.
Sometimes people say things or do things that do need calling out or a response, and that’s ok, in real life we would also hopefully respond if someone is clearly sharing something that may indicate they are having a life crisis, or says something so outrageously offensive that they need to be reminded that they cannot just say what’s in their head without risking getting a slap.
But most of the time, the photos and things shared, if you don’t like them, or they don’t appeal to you, you need to move on.
In real life, I wouldn’t dream of being rude, critical, negative or just socially immature, to someone. If I don’t like the look of what someone is eating, I don’t make rude remarks. If someone talks about their kid or cats a lot (ahem, like me) I don’t tell them they are boring and to shut up, I smile and nod and I am polite. Someone shares their baby name, and it’s not my cup of tea, I smile and say “oh that’s a lovely name”. Someone shares something they like and it’s not my thing, I move on and don’t say anything.
You don’t need to add a negative or mean comment if you don’t like something. You don’t need to be the source of bringing someone down. You don’t have to be sarcastic or rude, just because something isn’t entirely floating your boat doesn’t mean you have to say so.
And if you can’t hold your tongue or bite it hard because adult life and being polite and moving on, then there is always the unfollow, unlike, delete and block or hide buttons.
It may not be real life, but seriously people, it doesn’t mean you can just let loose. Zip your lips and move on.
That is all…