Saturday, October 15, 2016

Note to self: How to engage with others in social media

by Gideon Lasco

Note to self:

Before you post something online, ask yourself what good can come out of it. Will it inform? Inspire? Educate? Entertain? There are many valid reasons for posting something, but self-praise is not one of them.

Second, always consider the truthfulness of what you're going to share or post. Be discerning, especially when people begin to trust in your discernment. Hold on to facts, to evidence, to logic, and to reason. But don't forget that sincerity is the most important form of truthfulness, for it involves being true to one's convictions, values, and feelings.

Choose your words wisely and carefully. Some words can hurt, but others can heal. Some can divide, but others can unite.

Some people will try to refute what you're going to say. Others will use your words against you, take them out of context, and interpret them in the worst possible light. The natural impulse is to be defensive, but the noble response is to be humble and gracious.

Some people will disagree with your points of view. Others will question the logic of your arguments. Welcome their dissent. Always remind yourself that you can be wrong, so that when others correct you, your response will be gratitude.

Even when you're convinced that you are absolutely right, resist the temptation of humiliating people and rubbing in the flaws of their contentions. It is better to win people's respect and lose an argument, than win an argument and lose people's respect.

Don't let your desire to be proven right get in the way of being nice to people.

Don't let your desire to be vindicated lead you to vindictiveness.

Never fight hate with hate, just as it has been said that one must never fight fire with fire. Avoid posting something out of anger or frustration. If someone insults you, you are no different if you insult them back. Don't forget that silence is oftentimes the best way to communicate dignity.

Draw inspiration from the people who like or share your posts; never take their support for granted, nor be desensitized to their goodwill. However, never make them the sole measure of your success. A popular lie will go viral, but an inconvenient truth may go unnoticed. Even so, truth is always preferable to fame.

Don't give up on social media. When you dwell too much on the negative, you lose sight of the positive. Not all the hatred in the Internet can nullify the fact that life is beautiful and we can see glimmers of this beauty in people's posts that make us laugh and smile.

As for what you write, even just one person who profits from it makes it worthwhile - and you never know what your drop in the bucket will help lead to. Perhaps you will embolden someone far better than you, and you would have paved the way for greatness.

Keep writing. And keep encouraging those who do. You are not alone.

01 Sept 2016