Monday, July 13, 2015
Lessons Still Not Learned....Why People Don't Really Care What You Think!
It's a known fact that people don't seem to learn from the experience of others. Unfortunately, sometimes it appears that people don't even learn from their own experience.
In reading this article, Mac’s Muddy Mailbag #4 , I was reminded of an incident way back at the beginning of Spartan Race. We were all relatively new to Facebook when they had posted an 'inflammatory' remark. Inflammatory remark in the sense that it was intended to begin a real conversation on the topic, but was very controversial. This was also a time when you got real-time, direct responses from 'the top level' of Spartan Race. I challenged the wisdom of making such a remark (having watched dozens upon dozens of people stating on the post that they were unfriending them and many more probably just did it). I was told that this was a normal part of the Spartan routine...to open up discussions on hot topics while they ran through their morning routines. Apparently though, they realized that social media worked a bit differently than small group dynamics. A nod to Spartan Race....those types of posts never appeared again.
Why is it that companies or individuals don't seem to learn that expertise or renown in your field doesn't give any special privilege to spout off with your personal opinions on anything? Personally, I don't really don't give a s**t about what you think regarding anything outside your area of expertise. And frankly, no one else appears to either...not in any good way.
For an individual, this can be extremely detrimental to their image...and like the Spartan Race example...they will lose fans. If you're trying to build a following and potentially turn that into a paycheck, you may want to rethink that strategy. Image is everything today!! It doesn't mean you can't have opinions...it just means that no one really cares what they are, as long as you keep them to yourself!!!
While for an individual...particularly if they're not looking for or don't need to maintain a following...this isn't a major issue. Different strokes and all. But for a company, where image means business...business means money...and money means staying IN business...this is just downright stupid!!
We all know, it takes years to develop a reputation or an image. What we also need to know is that we're always just a post away from destroying it. Or at the very least, giving ourselves a serious...and unnecessary...setback. You cannot separate what you say personally from how you or your company are perceived today.
Image and perception are everything! Good pieces of advice I've followed for many, many years now is never to write (or post) in anger...or in any other highly emotional state. And ALWAYS keep my personal opinions out of the public arena.
Use your self-discipline to back away and think it through. Keep the personal out of the public view. Remember...anything you put out anywhere on the Internet today, could end up everywhere on the Internet today...in a heartbeat..and forever!
What's your take on posting personal....and controversial...opinions?
Have you had or seen any examples yourself?