Is treating others like human beings really that much to ask?

Posted: November 22, 2009 in Is it really that simple?, social media
Tags: , ,

Social tools provide me with insight into the people that use them.  Being able to connect with a musician I have been following for over a decade via his blog, Twitter, etc. is something most of us would never have experienced before.  I appreciate the added layer to the guy behind the music.  It’s an opportunity to gain some insight into how he thinks and what he cares about, which to me adds so much more depth and meaning to what he creates.  This is also the approach I take when reading blogs from those I follow in social media, and friends and acquaintances I keep up with along the way.  Having insight and being able to converse on their blogs, Facebook pages, through conversation on Twitter… it makes my experience with these people more meaningful.  But where I use it to create value in my own life, there are those that choose to be destructive in their interactions.

I just read this post from Matt Good’s blog called “Trying to Pull Chairs Out of the Floor.”

I’m disgusted (though not surprised) that anyone would use the opportunity and direct links to others that current communication technologies allow us so ridiculously.  This has been on my mind as of late with a myriad of conversations I’ve been seeing, the post above is just adding to a long list.  Why does the fact that we can now say whatever we want, to whoever we want, whenever we want  mean that we get to neglect the fact that the people we are talking to are people too?  The social web is becoming more human, and yet it’s making us less so.

Seriously people, there’s constructive feedback, there’s making quality connections and then there’s being dumb and insensitive.  A lot of which is coming out on these tools.  It’s easy to get sucked into this kind of behaviour, so this next bit is as much a reminder for me as it is for you:

Quit taking something good and turning it into your playground for petty games and grade school politics.  It’s your opportunity to impact somebody directly.  The impacts of what you put out there are hard to measure.  We don’t know how far our actions and words can reach, but the web today takes everything… EVERYTHING… and amplifies it by at least a thousand times..  So if your one of these berating fans, or engage in these petty childish games I keep seeing, do the rest of the world a favour… grow up and be accountable or just shut your mouth.

  1. Tze says:

    I wish I could write like you! Good post. Entirely true.

  2. Wendy Peters says:

    Thanks Tze! The web really is transparent. We see the good and the bad of human nature. I just hope it brings a little more awareness to those moments we aren’t treating each other fairly… or at least awareness to others.. and that others point it out right then and there.

  3. John Tyler says:

    Yes, those people can become very annoying!

    I think it comes down to situational awareness. The ability to analyze your surroundings, to know what is happening, when something is going wrong, or to know when you don’t have enough information to make a decision, to make a statement.

    Another example I find where this happens is our own city drivers. Some people think they are the only vehicle out on the road and they can change lanes when they want, go as fast or slow as they want- that’s how accidents happen.

    So if someone wants to complain or make a statement, they need to step out of their little box, expand their horizons, and try to understand the situation first. If you can’t get the whole picture, makes it pretty hard to complain.

    My job is a perfect example: Train crews are only on their train. They don’t get to see the entire subdivision like I do, or get access to information that I get to make my decisions and plans. Most of the crews are pretty good, but there are the odd ones that try to complain about a meet or work online. By sharing my ‘big picture’ they still might not like my decision, but they accept it!

    Back to social media, Wendy, you are right. People have been given some amazing tools that gives them a public voice, but with such power, there must be an understanding of it’s use, and it’s impact on others.

    Great post Wendy 🙂

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