For most of us, social media is a part of our everyday personal and professional lives. We use social media to network, share ideas, highlight our professional experiences and achievements, and build our professional reputation and credibility. For the most part, social media–especially professional networking sites–are a positive and integral part of our careers.
However, these platforms harbor some negative realities as well; they can bring out the unflattering, power hungry, know-it-all behaviour of some people.
Have you ever been involved in a discussion or observed a post where someone felt the need to criticize an idea or even point out a minor grammatical or spelling error of another professional?
Public criticisms always show a lack of respect, are unprofessional, and create a poor impression of the person criticizing. Therefore, it is crucial to the future of your career and your professional persona that you refrain from publicly criticizing other professionals on social media platforms.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Post or Respond:
What is My Purpose for Posting or Responding?
Are you trying to prove your point? Are you respectfully offering another perspective?
Could My Comment Be Misinterpreted?
Could it be considered disrespectful? Are you clear?
Is it Helpful?
Is the point of posting to help someone or a situation? Does your comment help improve something? Does it allow for purposeful and meaningful conversations rooted in respect?
Is it Necessary?
Could it be left unsaid? Could it be considered hurtful or undermining? Is it respectful? Would it be better to discuss privately with the person?
What Does My Comment Say about Me?
Is it professional? If posting on social media, would you say this to someone’s face? Would you say this to your boss?
Often people believe that because they are not in face-to-face conversations with others, they can say whatever they want on social media. Words have consequences and hold value whether on social media or face-to-face. Therefore, it is vital to your career advancement and personal reputation that you consider what you say, how you say it, and the meaning it carries before posting on online networking platforms.