I often see things on social media that enrage me – I try not to respond to them in the moment, because if I do my energy gets sucked down to the level of sh*t that I am reading and I end up using the word f*ck far more than I should.
But they do sow a seed in my mind and I often go off and have a think about them for a few days and then I come back and try to write something with more depth and breadth than ‘f*ck’, which can challenge and hopefully drive positive changes.
This week’s enraging comments were on LinkedIn, for those of you that may have been living in a time bubble that’s one of the worlds leading social networking sites, primarily aimed at the world of business – well it was when it was launched back in 2003, which may have well have been during the last century based on the amount of technological and cultural changes we have seen in the last 20 years or so.
My rage came from the hypocrisy and ignorance of some of the unbelievably ill-thought-out, or even more worryingly well thought out comments that people leave on posts and that can do so much harm to a society that is suffering from a mental health crisis and is slowly but surely trying to encourage people to embrace their vulnerability, show up as their whole selves and to stop letting others judgements, opinions or expectations dictate their life, as we know this results in low self-esteem, a feeling of isolation and ‘oddness’ leading to a perceived inability to belong, which then drives even higher levels of mental and emotional health challenges – can you see the vicious circle?
The comments in question were left on a pretty innocent and certainly to me, the inoffensive post of an animal lover trying to encourage people to take more time to look after animals (which research shows is really good for our mental health) and in the process offer some practical advice on how to do so. Now, even if you had found such a post offensive (I’m not sure how, but then neither do I understand why people pay thousands of dollars to go off and shoot beautiful wild animals and then post pictures of their sickening conquests on social media), why would you spend what precious time you have leaving a comment which actually brings more attention to the post, therefore perhaps doing some good and at the same time making you look like a complete arse? Surely you could just continue scrolling, disconnect or mute the post instead, wouldn’t that be more practical and cause less angst?
But sadly I do see this all of the time – rude comments left which do nothing to add value to the subject in question, but everything to show the world that the person leaving the comment clearly has a lot of issues that need addressing and have decided that social media seems a good place to vent, as a) you cannot see the person you are venting at therefore it’s ok to act in an inhumane way b) you do you have to take accountability for the wounds your vent will inflict and c) you can get things off your chest without ever having to deal with their root cause, therefore ensuring you can become a serial venter with no apparent consequences (apart from the trauma and wounds deeply buried in their psyche slowly festering and making them pretty miserable and angry a lot of the time).
And thinking about it, it’s not just on social media that I see this kind of behaviour, it’s also on the TV, the news, etc. By far one of the worst interviews that I ever saw (that probably set feminism back 50 years), was when Cathy Newman interviewed Jordon Peterson on Channel 4. She was incredibly aggressive, completely out of her league intellectually, and clearly triggered at a deep emotional level by the facts and evidence that Jordon Peterson was presenting. To his credit, he remained calm and true to his points no matter what she threw at him. I cannot imagine any other profession where you could act like she did to another human being and not face serious consequences – in short, she was a bully and an ignorant one at that, in a nutshell, I was embarrassed to be represented by her as a woman and I suspect many others were too, ironically had she stopped ranting long enough to actually listen, she may have discovered that Jordan Peterson actually had some truly insightful, evidence-based information that may well go a significant way to helping reduce the inequality between men and women in the workplace, rather than her assumption of the opposite. Anyway, rant over, I’m digressing somewhat but if you do get a chance to watch the interview I would recommend doing so if only to learn how not to treat your fellow human beings – the link is below:
So, back to the comments on social media that have triggered me – and yes I do get the irony that I am writing about this given the fact that I am challenging damaging and negative comments, and yet I am perhaps writing some of my own. But the difference is that I believe that any comment or indeed posts themselves should always adhere to 3 basic rules:
1. They must be respectful and offer a way to move our thinking forward;
2. The post/comment must add value in some way – for example by adding a new perspective, helping people to pause for thought or inspiring a new idea; and
3. They must be honest, authentic, and true.
Therefore if I see a something that triggers a reaction in me, whether that be good or bad, I do take some time, I do think about it, I do try to understand what it is that it has triggered in me, why has it triggered something in me, is what I am feeling true or is it just my ego having a tantrum, how can I challenge it and at the same time move the thinking on and perhaps most importantly, is it really worth me spending my most precious commodity on it – that being my time.
Now, after thinking this through and holding myself accountable for these very important questions, if I still feel that whatever it needs to be said, then I say it, because not saying something or challenging something because of fear, or judgement, or being a lone wolf, is perhaps one of the most dangerous paths human beings can ever take.
So, I take my time, write my piece, speak my truth and check my grammar, which is exactly what I did this morning and after writing my first post, my passion, my need to challenge the issues was still were not sated, so I wrote another and here they are below for your perusal.
I do hope that by sharing them, they will inspire others to speak their truth, to challenge the status quo, and to find the courage to be the change we all need to be.
I saw some comments on a post the other day about LinkedIn being a professional platform and therefore asking people not to post about non-business-related stuff. I responded and then deleted it. I deleted it because my response was angry and not that well-articulated, therefore it would not have had any impact, I would have just come over as a bit of an arse.
But today those comments are still p*ssing me off, so I am posting about why that is.
Originally (way back in 2003), LinkedIn was set up as a social networking site aimed at the business community, so first and foremost it was about social networking because that’s what makes us humans tick – connection but also business as that’s where the money is. And then, the nature of business began to change, the world became global, competition increased, the digital revolution woke us all up and there was a massive cultural shift in people’s mindset towards work, life, and play.
The days of spending your whole career with only one organisation became outdated and people began to have choices such as not having to stay in toxic, underpaid, and soul-destroying organisations. We also started to understand the importance of inclusion, diversity, equality and our need for psychologically safe environments and how they hadn’t actually been that safe thus far.