The dangers of speaking your mind on social media

ID-100290335 The dangers of speaking your mind on social mediaWhen I coach clients on social media as part of strategic job search, we talk about the dangers of speaking your mind on social media.

I often illustrate my point by sharing how we evolved from talking to our neighbors over the fence to talking on Facebook.

While in days past, we talked to one or two people and maybe they shared what we said with others, it was a small number. Today, what you say on Facebook can be passed on to millions in a very short time.

Has conversation deteriorated?

Tonight was one of the few nights I enjoyed Facebook in a long time. It is right before Christmas, so most people are posting Christmas photos or holiday thoughts. Everyone seemed kinder and gentler again.

When I started with social media in 2007, it was pretty new and no one really knew what they were doing. I think people were a little nicer and more careful back then. As politics and other topics seemed to take over, I noticed a trend for people to say things they would never say in person a few years ago.

In fact, I think people post things that they would never ever get up on a podium to say. But social media is a podium and it will reach more people than you think.

Let’s practice kindness for the rest of 2016 and in the new year.

What are the dangers of speaking your mind?

You don’t know who is reading or how they think. I know people who I would never describe as mean or divisive who use that social media podium to show every thought and share everything. Use a filter when you are on social media. Be careful of what you share.

Why? Your networking contact, next employer, future customer or client, or recruiter may not think the way you do.

In addition, make sure you read the articles you share. You would be surprised how a headline can draw you in but if you bothered to read the full article, you might find that it doesn’t even say what you think it does.

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