I have stopped being “nice” on social media.
Let me rephrase that, because that sounds like I have decided to start being horrible on social media. That’s not what I mean.
In fact, let me explain what I try to do and what I adhere to, and then it will all make sense.
I wrote this post on Instagram recently about being gracious. I meant that, and I still stand by that. When I share something on social media that might raise a question, isn’t accurate, or might be construed as offensive, I expect to be called out, and whilst I don’t like that, I am ok with that. I believe that people who use social media for work or as a business need to be held accountable. I think we can and should respond graciously. Just as I would in real life when someone might have something to say that could be helpful or useful, that may help me, and I try to be gracious and mature, I think we can and should do that on the platforms we share on too.
However, I have stopped being “nice” on social media to please people or to placate other people. Being gracious in my responses when someone has a genuine issue is one thing. Pandering to people who see my space as their place to either be negagive, or to come to try and pick me apart or use what I post to their own ends, I will not tolerate any more. I also will not put up with people who come to my social media to use it for their own purposes or to try and fix or correct me when they don’t “mean well”.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media, but it’s part of my job and it’s also been a community for me. I have a right to that space feeling safe, and for it to be the space I want it to be. I don’t believe that it’s ok to deliberately go to someone’s social media space to try and tear them down, or to use what they say to perpetuate your own issues.
I am very blunt about what I share on public social media.
If you go to my Instagram or Facebook, I share about life, family life, our pets, my mental health, food and the things that are part of what we do. If you go to that space to tell me I shouldn’t share about those things, then you may get told to back off.
My personal Facebook page is where I share about politics, religion, current affairs, mental health, and random things that come into my head. If you come to me and tell me that you don’t like what I post and even ask me if my husband is aware or supervises what I post, you may not like what my response is.
If someone came up to you in real life, and was rude, unpleasant, unhelpfully negative, and has sought you out to pick apart what you say and do, you would not accept it. It’s not ok to have to take that just because it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever.
If someone was using your social media to make themeselves unhappy, that’s on them, not you. I refuse to play nice, to keep unhappy people happy.
So if you come to my social media, and are civil, polite and are genuinley, like a normal human being, trying to find clarity, or because I may have said something that does need to be corrected, I will try to do my best to respond well.
If you come to my space to be rude, unpleasant, to attack me and mine, or to use my space for your own issues, then you will be removed, blocked, and my response will not be nice.
My mother always said “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”
I think this applies to the internet as well as real life. Sadly not everyone lives by that.