The digital age has opened wonderful opportunities to connect with people and share our ideas. Websites, blogs and social media are all great tools to create a brand or connect with like-minded individuals. Unfortunately, these same tools can be used to attack people and even to try to destroy another person’s reputation. Online communication also leaves us vulnerable to more public blunders.
With the level of anonymity associated with online communication, and the easy access to give and receive information, it is easy to forget how to be respectful and communicate efficiently. So how can we combat the volatile aspects of these digital tools? It’s actually very simple.
There are two basic ideas that can help us communicate effectively and maintain a pleasant online atmosphere, at least from our side. If you keep these two ideas in mind each time you sit in front of your computer, you can do your part to make online communication a tool rather than a master.
What are these two ideas? Don’t say anything you’re not willing to defend, and remember you are a person communicating with another person.
- Be prepared to stand behind anything you say online.
- If you wouldn’t be prepared to defend your statement or provide facts to back it up, don’t share it.
- Believe in what you say- you never know when someone is going to take offense to your message, so make sure you are not wavering on that message.
- If you make a mistake or misspeak, don’t try to pretend it didn’t happen; own up to it, correct it, and accept whatever consequences come from the mistake.
- At some point someone is going to criticize you for your words or ideas. You must be ready for this and know if and how you will respond.
2. Be respectful to others.
- Remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Do you like getting rude comments?
Do you like being publicly called out?
Chances are the people you are communicating with don’t like these things either.
- Think before you submit. Don’t be reactive, if you need to type out the message go ahead, then stop and think if you should really put that response out there.
If we would all take a moment to pause and reflect before responding to something we don’t like, a good portion of the rude and nasty comments out there wouldn’t exist.
- Remember, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, opinions, and ideas. You don’t have to agree with them, but that doesn’t mean you have to blast them either.
Another thing to remember, the more attention you give to opposing ideas, the more influence you give to those ideas.
- Keep in mind, there is a person behind the printed words. The internet makes it easy to forget the human side.
Always keep in mind, in this digital age what we post influences how people judge us. Think about what you want to be know for and how you want to be remembered or thought of.
Would you add anything else to this list? Let me know in the comments.