There is a time and place for everything, including public humiliation. United Airlines, for example, had it coming. Many of the companies and individuals who find themselves publicly humiliated are deserving. Once doled out by the select few who controlled the media, high-level humiliation is now at the fingertips of many. Denounce an individual’s character or slam the customer service rep who put you on hold and you could become a star. Well, maybe not a star but you will be heard on some level, depending on who you are and your presence across the social web.

As a journalist I am all about free speech and I think it’s great that we are all empowered by the internet and the fact that the voiceless now have a voice is pretty amazing. But I am beginning to think that some people sacrificed class in order to receive that voice.

While it is easy to slam someone on Twitter, in your blog or on YouTube and other social networks, it may not always be the best choice. It is not necessary to slam everyone who gives you grief, at least not publicly and certainly not all the time. Have we forgotten how to vent to a friend and let it go?

I am seeing a constant stream of complaints and gripes about everything from the blogger whose email rubbed someone the wrong way to the first and last name of the unsuspecting store manager who really couldn’t get the repairman out to make a person’s shopping experience a little less humid.

I know, I know…we all have every right to share this type of information and content and I can certainly opt-out of reading any of it.
But to those who claim they want to build community and relationships, stop publicly slamming everyone who doesn’t do things the way you think they should be done.

If someone pitches you in a way that you find off-putting, try telling THEM and not everyone else. Perhaps there is a lesson you can teach them. If you have a bad experience at a restaurant, try talking to the manager about it. It isn’t always necessary to exploit simply because you can.

Let’s not let our ability to be heard hamper our ability to solve our own problems.
Use your insight to help others and build your community that way. Who knows what kind of good karma it will send your way.

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