The Danger Of Being Honest On Social Media

Be YourselfAlmost two years ago while searching for a place to live I was surprised when I found Cleveland in Texas.

I was looking for temporary housing in Fort Worth and while I wasn’t surprised to see building or complexes with the names of exotic island hideaways or cowboy sounding names I didn’t expect to find a place in the Southwest that was named after a city in the Midwest.

Ask me how that relates to the dangers of being honest on social media and I’ll tell you we live in a time in which people preach tolerance but are intolerant of views that are not in line with their own.

If I talk about Ferguson or Eric Garner I risk being flamed for saying something offensive.

It doesn’t matter what side I take because things are so crazy now you know that whatever you say is going to be wrong for someone and in a world in which anything you say online can be filed, categorized and or manipulated it is sometimes prudent not to say anything or to be very cautious about what you do say.

That is not just common sense for brands and businesses but for individuals too.

If you say the wrong thing and inspire attention from the crowd you might learn that your employer has been contacted and told that you are a bad employee and be told to be careful what you say online in your personal world because it impacts public perception of the company you work for.

Is That Fear Or Reality Speaking?

If you ask me is that is fear or reality speaking I’ll tell you it is probably a little of both. If you are not promoting hate you should be able to speak your mind but then again perception is a funny thing.

You don’t always know how people will interpret what you say and how they will react. Nor will you always be given a chance to respond to how they respond to what you are putting out or posting.

If you are looking for work and prospective employers are reading your online musings you might not receive the same benefit of the doubt you would get from someone who knows you.

I have had enough talk about what may or may not happen so let’s move on and talk about community and blogs. Part of what got me thinking about all of this stems from some discussions I had with people about our blog traffic and how to build it.


In July of last year I talked about why Community Is The Key To Social Media Success and touched upon the value of generating more content and responding to comments faster than I was.

There has been a significant increase in traffic since then in large part predicated upon widening the focus here so that it wasn’t all business.

Several switches in commenting platforms helped too. We went through G+, CommentLuv and Livefyre before settling on DISQUS.

Many months into the switch I am happy with the change because it dramatically reduces spam, drives additional traffic and provides notifications so people come back to see responses to their comments.

I played around with writing about Ferguson/Michael Brown/Eric Garner/Race/Free Speech because they are timely and I knew I could generate a boatload of traffic that way.

Figured if I brought in 1 million readers and retained 1 percent that might prove useful. But I chose not to do it because I wasn’t sure the upside was worth the potential craziness that might come with it.

And now let’s move to a special intermission.

Five Songs + Five More

  • Remember– Jimi Hendrix
  • Heart Full Of Soul– The Yardbirds
  • Darkness On The Edge of Town– Bruce Springsteen
  • Uncle John’s Band– The Grateful Dead
  • Happy– Bruce Springsteen
  • Reflections of My Life -Marmalade
  • Come Live with Me-Ray Charles
  • The Long and Winding Road-Ray Charles
  • May This Be Love– Jimi Hendrix
  • Under Pressure– Queen and David Bowie

 The Funny Thing

The funny thing about all this is I am not someone who is afraid to tell you what I think or feel. Family and friends tell me they can almost always see my thoughts on my face and in my eyes which is why I wear dark sunglasses when playing cards.

Or maybe that is so I can take a nap, who can remember.

What I can tell you is I love the quote in the picture above and I pride myself on not being someone who does everything the crowd does just to be a part of it.

Never cared or needed to be the coolest guy around and even if I tried I probably wouldn’t be.

But I will say I am disappointed by the intolerance to opposing views. I am disappointed that so many people become so unwilling to challenge their thoughts and beliefs.

There is some merit to the marketplace of ideas.

Sometimes the way to move people is by providing them with a chance to speak their mind. Sometimes when they hear their thoughts said out loud they realize they really aren’t the kind of thing they want to believe in.

What do you think?

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