You Have A Choice !!

Have you been watching social media lately? Even if you aren’t on the forums, the media makes sure to share tweets from political candidates. There’s one consistent feel to the majority of what is being shared – negativity.

Honestly, most of what we consume is negative. We either swim in it willingly, or we get frustrated because it seems that we can’t escape it. What is ironic is that we’re expected to make a decision on things like an election by all sides slinging mud at each other. It isn’t only politics. Stories of the failures of others makes up the majority of our “news,” and we don’t cover all items – just the ones that are the grimiest.

A great friend of mine and I had an exchange this week on social media where he stated that he might just stop participating on the forums because all he sees is negativity. It was a solid observation, but I jumped in and challenged him. I agree that there is so much darkness that is around us, but I think you can be genuinely positive.

choiceYou have a choice !!

One of the choices you have, which my friend shared, is to step away and stop being active on social media. I’m floored by the number of my peers who used to encourage and espouse the value of social media who are now silent. I miss hearing their perspective and insights. I respect this choice, however I would much rather hear from them.

Another choice is how you use social media. Every time you get on a social media platform, you have a moment before you post. It may be a brief moment, but it exists. Instead of instantly lashing out and reacting to what someone says, step back and think. Then respond.

I don’t feel comfortable in throwing out extreme views, although I understand why people share them. When you’re as emotionally vehement in return, why are you surprised when people dig in on their sides of an argument?

When I respond, I choose to be positive. It’s not hard for me to do, but it goes against the tide of the majority of messages. I think that going against the flow is what is needed – especially on these forums. You have to trust me that I’m not naive or sheltered on what is happening in the world today. However, adding to the negativity of a situation only continues to pile on and drive it further down.

People are looking for an alternative voice, and that voice is positivity. I’m not talking about puppies and unicorns. I am talking about seeing what’s good in others and how to arrive at solutions. I am talking about having discussions, and even disagreements, on items. I am talking about lifting others up to encourage them and show them that they can contribute, add value and succeed.

This is the choice I make when I use Social Media. Will you join me in going against the flow? I hope you do. You just have to make a choice.

14 thoughts on “You Have A Choice !!”

  1. Steve! You nailed it. Unfortunately negativity tends to draw humans to react, and usually not in the most favorable of ways. Especially on channels so instantaneous as Facebook and Twitter, where we are encouraged to share our thoughts, to be candid, and simply “social.”

    When you say “It’s not hard for me to do, but it goes against the tide of the majority of messages. I think that going against the flow is what is needed,” I agree 100%. Only dead fish go with the flow. If you disconnect yourself from social, you’re also disconnecting yourself from being apart of the changing current.

    I’m with you, let’s #KeepItPositive 🙂

    Stay social my friend!

  2. Great write up Steve!

    Knowing you as well I do, it was easy to see where you’d be on it & I completely agree. I try to do the same, use social for good. Being a genuine & positive personality is so much easier, takes less energy and leaves those around you with a sense to do the same.

    Rock on Steve!

  3. I am working hard at embracing this positivity. In fact, my last blog post was along a similar vein of positivity. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

  4. I think it can be so hard to see the “bad” things going on and get sucked into the negativity and feel the “need” to get your feelings out there. I’d like to make the choice today to stand with you Steve and be the positive light!

  5. This is fantastic! Thank you for writing this Steve! The beauty is that the more we choose to be positive, see the good and find the silver lining; the more it will surround us. Not puppies and unicorns (love that!) but genuine positivity.

  6. Hey Steve,

    You are right on target. I’m sure you’ve heard that people who have negative experiences tell 10 people, and people with positive experiences only tell 4. It can be difficult not to get caught up in the tidal wave, but as HR professionals, we’re guardians of the culture at work and have to work hard to keep it a positive environment. Lately, I find myself trying to be much more mindful of recognizing positive deeds and providing recognition where it’s deserved.

    Thanks for the reminder,
    Amie

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