Social media is a great way for you to get involved in the conversation. With social media, you can let your voice be heard. Whether you are commenting on a television show, celebrity, political movement, or following your favorite product/service, social media allows you to connect with others that have the same interests.
As an avid WWE fan, I like to discuss its programming with others. Often, I will report what I think is cool and my ideas for things I would like to see. I also like to read reviews and find out what others think about a particular business or product.
Information that I find on social media is usually insightful, interesting, and informative. On occasion posts can be hilarious and amusing. It is, however, disheartening to find so much negativity and meanness on social media. Perhaps, it is the presence of online trolls trying to stir up some discord. Nevertheless, it seems that there are too many cruel and inconsiderate comments on social media.
Still, there are times when some type of criticism is necessary. You may be upset and want change. In fact, criticism may be may be something that the other person/organization desires as well. This week I read a Colin Shaw article that gave me perspective on how important it is for organizations to realize what their customers actually think.
As mentioned in the article that I read, most people will prefer not to say anything when they have a bad experience. This is not productive either. I am sure that most employees and organizations appreciate receiving feedback on what is great and not so great about what they do.
Negative Social Media
Although criticism can be beneficial, there are instances when it can be inappropriately communicated. Have you ever read a comment that went like this?
“Oh, my gawd! I went to Doug’s Diner this evening. I have never had such bad service in my life! Martha was our server. She is horrible at her job. Why can’t this diner hire anyone with half a brain?”
Although this complaint addresses a possible issue, it does not provide specifics on how the service can improve at Doug’s Diner. It seems to be a malicious attack against Martha instead of productive resolution. Do these people realize that people have feelings? Even if a wrong were committed, why would someone go to such efforts to humiliate another person in public?
Positive Social Media
My recommendation would be to make a statement with social media in a more positive manner. For example, I would change the above content to the following:
“I went to Doug’s Diner this evening. This place has good food and a nice atmosphere. I prefer to go to Sally’s Diner because they always get my food order right and the service is fast!”
Which comment do you feel is more productive? I think the second comment will be more helpful to Doug’s Diner. It tells him that he is losing business because the service is slow and the servers are not taking the orders correctly. With this feedback, Doug could implement personnel changes or training that can make his restaurant better. In the end, the comment may help you get what want — great food and better service from Doug’s Diner.
I think the positive approach with social media will bring you better results. Although malicious comments may help you voice your anger, it is not a good long-term solution. Malicious comments could negatively hurt someone else. It could also hurt you if others discover that you wrote them. By taking the positive approach, you are being more constructive in your effort to bring positive change. I also believe that people will also take your posts and comments more seriously than if you were just spewing animosity.
With a positive approach to social media, I encourage you to look for things that you think need improvement. As I am learning in my MDST 485 class, people can use social media to create positive changes in the world. At the same time, I encourage you to look for more positives. Every day we come across people or things that deserve praise and proper acknowledgment. You can use a “positive spin” to social media to bring a positive feeling to these people. Think of how you can make these people’s day better with your kind words.