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Social media road rage: Things to remember before posting

Article by Dylan Kohlstadt – Shift ONE

We get it. Ranting on social media feels the same as ranting in your car – you feel safe, brave and invincible while you wave your fist in the air from behind your steering wheel and spew venom at the other idiot driver.

We’ve all had moments of blind rage due to someone who has challenged an opinion, or is stomping all over your view of what is socially acceptable. In these moments, you might justify this to yourself, thinking that someone has to stand up for what’s right, right? Sometimes you even use ‘freedom of speech’ as your banner for bad manners.

But the other car is pulling over, and the driver is getting out. The words have left your fingers as your thumb presses ‘send’, and your world comes crashing down – one 140-character post at a time.

Sometimes the people who are in the most danger of committing irreversible faux pas are those who are the most comfortable with social media. Just search for #hasjustinelanded and you’ll find out what I mean. Just remember that you are what you share.

Here are some useful things to remember before you press ‘Post’.

1. Social media is not your private space

It wouldn’t be social media if it was private. This is not your journal. You are not alone. Everyone is listening. Our advice is to avoid posting when you’re overly tired, intoxicated, angry or upset.

2. Post stuff that others will want to see

We always say this, and we’ll keep on saying it until someone comes up with something better than social media, but if you’re not posting things others want to see, you’re wasting everyone’s data.

  • Is it informative?
  • Is it funny?
  • Is it engaging?
  • Does it save me time or money?
  • Does anyone really care about this content besides me?
  • Will I be okay with absolutely anyone reading this?

If it’s none of these, then find another platform to share your views on, like a blog or a newsletter, or better yet, bounce it off of a good friend over coffee before publicising your opinion.

3. Once posted it is not forgotten; once deleted it is not erased

What you post is placed on the internet and can remain there indefinitely. This collection of posts is what pops up if I Google your name. And let’s not talk about images. Just make sure that what you post defines your online brand in a way that can touch the world, not tarnish it.

In the digital and online space, everything lives on. As we’ve seen with Sparrow and Theunnisson, deleting a rabid post doesn’t mean you can go on with your life as it was before.

4. Your followers are not your friends

This is a hard one, but it is true. Your hard-earned LIKES and followers are people who have shown interest in your brand or what you have to say. They are not your besties, and they definitely don’t want to hear your tantrums about culture or politics (unless you are in fact a politician, in which case, you definitely need our help).

So, what does this mean for your business?

If you are an entrepreneur, you are the face of your business and your brand. That means you have to be twice as careful before posting thoughtlessly.

If you’re not running your business’s social media, make sure your staff members or marketing agency know your content strategy and brand values. Take them through a company social media etiquette policy and ask them to sign it.

Or, just come to ShiftONE. We are the antidote to foot-in-mouth disease.

ShiftONE is a proud Member of the NSBC.