Tonight my kids showed me a social media post where someone shared their view on something and someone else disagreed with them by calling them a derogatory word, and sadly this exchange took place between two people who supposedly loved each other. I wrote a blog on this very subject five years ago because I thought the nastiness on social media was bad back then and yet its gotten so much worse now…. Over these last five years derogatory exchanges on social media have gone from strangers anonymously tearing another stranger down to friends going after friends online and families going after families….it needs to stop.

Here’s what I posted on this subject five years ago:

I get that when people are passionate about their beliefs they want to share them with others and I think that is an awesome thing if it’s done in a positive way! In all my years of being a leader in the business world I have never once seen anyone be influenced by angry words or put downs.  Genuine influence comes when you listen to people, you are patient with people, and when you love people.

I have struggled the last few weeks witnessing some of the crazy things going on over social media sites. I understand everyone wanting to voice their feelings about things, but to me it feels more like people are all waging war on anyone who doesn’t think or feel the same way as they do. And it isn’t just people on one side or the other of a topic, it is people on BOTH sides that are doing the same thing to each other. They are both going beyond just respectfully stating their own feelings by trying to then invalidate the other person’s feelings by calling them names or spewing negativity at them. There is just a crazy amount of attacking going on and frankly I find it sickening.

Whatever happened to people respectfully sharing how they feel without feeling they have to prove to everyone they are right and everyone else is wrong?  And what happened to listening to how someone else feels without feeling the need to tell them how wrong they are because they don’t feel the same way you do? Isn’t everyone entitled to have their own feelings?!

I have plenty of my own feelings on current topics politically and religiously but I’ll be danged if I am going to be posting them on a social media sites in a way that puts anyone else down for thinking differently than I do. Doing so goes against everything I believe to be right.

I think it’s awesome to learn about other people’s views and beliefs because it helps us get to know where other people are coming from. And I am proud of my own views and beliefs and I am willing to share them anytime, with anyone, who wants to know them in order to get to know me and where I am coming from. Perhaps if we all go into sharing our beliefs with the intent of learning more about each other, and coming to understand and appreciate each other more, we could actually learn a tremendous amount. #BeNice

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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