- Internet & the Web
Networking No-No: Badly Worded Post
The written word can cause so much drama and even become dangerous. What you write can be read in so many different ways and can cause you a lot of grief.
You need to watch how you word topics and posts you start in forums and groups. Even what you post on your wall or page should be worded carefully. Read what you write before you make the post public. Make sure it is clear. Don’t be confusing, offensive, or negative. Make sure it can't be misunderstood. None of these will help you be successful in networking.
Problem With Badly Worded Posts
Too often people just want to find something to get mad about. Sometimes, we just hand them the reasons. When we give words a chance to be seen in a different light, we might start a fight we weren't prepared for.
Badly worded posts tend to get people riled up and fights started. Humanity breaks down and drama takes over. In networking, that defeats the whole purpose. Your goal is to connect with others and have those doors open for opportunities the future might holds. Badly worded posts will shut those doors, possibly permanently.
Put Yourself in Other’s Shoes
You need to see how other people will see what you type. You know what you meant. You know the purpose of your post. People can't read your mind. They can't hear your tone or see your body language. Step back from your words and look at them closely. Not everyone has your sense of humor. Not everyone will understand what you mean if it is an inside joke. Think from the other person’s perspective. How could they take it?
I experienced it in my personal life with one of my children. My daughter had a cousin who she joked around a lot with. Their jokes comprised of insulting each other as many close friends do. They exchanged comments on Facebook, and his mother took exception to it. She thought my daughter meant the words that appeared to be very mean to her son. Despite her son assuring her it was a joke, there was a lot of drama and hurt feelings. His mother called her sister-in-law, who called my husband and told him off. My daughter learned to keep it in private messages, watch her words, and add smiley faces after a joke so everyone knew. She learned a hard lesson that other people don't always get what you post.
You know what you meant. Someone else might, but there might be many others who do not. I have to remind myself to note if it is a joke or something similar so people won't over-react, but it is always good to put yourself in someone's else's shoes. Look through their eyes and see what you see.
Those reading what you post cannot hear your voice. They cannot see your face. They are going just off your words which could mean something entirely different than you meant them to.
If you post a badly worded statement, you could find more drama than you were looking for. Someone could think you are insulting them when in reality you were not. Some people might think you are attacking them, when you aren’t. People usually read the worst in things. They are looking for some reason to be upset.
I was in a Facebook group where several of us were in a good discussion. I mean it was a deep one with everyone taking something beneficial away from it. One person took offense at something posted. Looking over it all, none of us could see what was wrong, but the offended person was very upset. Then one person realized what was wrong. If we had only caught it….
Read over what you are about to post. See if someone from a different ethnic background might take offense. See if someone in a different age group might take exception to your words. What could your words imply other than what you meant them to?
Too Much Drama
Badly worded posts are a cause of a lot of drama. I once posted an observation I had about how I had seen several women dress. It was not meant to be judgmental. I was worried about how women thought of themselves and wanted to issue a word of encouragement. I didn't read my post very well. Someone took extreme offense and went off on me as well as told everyone else how horrible I was. A big fight erupted.
Drama seems to be everywhere. There is too much of it, but sadly we contribute when we aren't careful about what we write. I'm preaching to myself here.
Consider your audience. Consider the topic. Consider the world around you. They might be your words, but the rest of the world is seeing them. Pay close attention and help your networking endeavors.