You would think after the years I have spent as a regulator of various things cyber (spam, eSecurity, cyberbullying) that nothing would surprise me on the internet. However, recently I have been somewhat surprised by the ‘thinking out loud’ that some people are doing on social media.
As many readers know (see my previous blogs), I had gastric sleeve surgery three months ago. So, I am a member of a few Facebook groups relating to that. The number of snide and sometimes directly rude remarks I see within these groups is remarkable. It’s a sensitive topic, so you think people would react sensitively. Apparently not.
I also have an interest in thermal cooking and am a member of some Facebook groups there too. There is no doubt that the dumb question quotient is high in these groups on some days – and I certainly think that to myself. But I never take the next step and choose to be rude to another person just for the sake of it. However, some people have no problem ruining someone else’s day.
And only recently, I had to respond to a comment on my own post to a friend of a friend – a person I don’t know – and ask them not to be rude. I personally don’t mind having my privacy settings extending to friends of friends, but why on earth would you make any sort of adverse comment on a post belonging to someone you don’t know?!
The fact is that thinking out loud on social media can not only amount to cyberbullying in some circumstances, but it can make other people upset and, quite frankly, give the rude comment perpetrator a bad reputation. And bad social media reputations – which might I add are not just about drunken pictures and posts – can impact on your own future, including employment opportunities, as many businesses now undertake social media reviews of potential staff.
So when commenting on social media in the future it is best to remember that anything you say is public, and that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all!