I’m going to keep this short and to-the-point: Words Matter.
When John Schnatter of Papa John’s used the N-word on a corporate conference call, you would think he would know that is wrong, right? However, people sometimes think their words are weightier and can be thrown around. Um, no. Every single person needs to stop and remember it’s not JUST that your words can and will be used against you in a court of law, but all over social media, too.
I want you to consider the following three things I see people do ON THE DAILY that hurt their reputation:
LinkedIn – it tells on you
Every. Single. Day. I get on LinkedIn and in my news feed it says, “So-And-So commented on this article” or “So-And-So liked this post”. If that material is offensive, divisive, political, extreme, crude, etc. just back away from the temptation to say something. No matter what the context is you mean for your words to convey, it won’t to someone and you can look ridiculous, petty, racist, argumentative, sexist, etc. Resist – Resist – Resist!
Instagram – it tells on you, too
Every. Single. Day. I post on Instagram and it will show me material my followers have interacted with…and it’s how I found out someone who I respect for their work is polar opposite in my diversity and inclusion beliefs. I was actually sad to find this out and I’ve never been able to work with them the same.
Of course it’s OK to have different views on things, but remember, some may be so alienating and this is exactly what happened between me and this person. (They still have no idea I know they are lying to me when they say how strongly they believe in these types of corporate initiatives.)
Twitter – it tells on you, too (do you see a pattern here?)
Every. Single. Day. I will check my notifications and it shows So-And-So liked this tweet, etc. It’s also helped me weed out certain individuals who are interacting with content I would never want my name associated with, but it’s also shown me a very different side to someone I would never have known without the help of Twitter.
Be a Person of Action: What I want you to take away from this today is that your words matter. Be choosy in how you use them, where you use them, how you choose to interact with them, who you use them with, etc. Don’t just spout off on topics – again, resist resist, resist!