Judgement, in the social media age, is swift.
And, sometimes unforgiving.
I am a perfectionist at my core. As much as I’d like to do things perfectly, however, I know it is impossible. Call it age. Call it wisdom. I know that perfectionism is futile.
Perfectionism is still a challenge for me, but for a very different reason now. See, I am witness to the daily onslaught that is social media. Working in the medium (no pun intended), I understand that it is a reflection of society. But, it is also a public platform.
A story, shared to thousands, can have a myriad of interpretations — without even reading it.
In 2015, there was a story about Serena Williams. I read it and was amazed at the information provided. I appreciated the author’s story. However, I found a very different response on social media.
The contrast in interpretation began with one person. Then another. And another. It was an avalanche of negativity…to the point where people reacted without even reading the story.
They reacted based on what their friends or people they followed said. By the time some read the actual story, their opinion was already formed. They prejudged it.
No fair shakes. No benefit of the doubt.
Knowing this is often the mindset and because of the genre I work in requires sharing on social media, I hesitate.
I hesitate to write for fear of unfair judgement. I hesitate to write because open-mindedness is a luxury not a necessity for some. One “wrong” move, one “wrong” word, one “wrong” opinion and you are social media-shamed by the vocal collective.
Dialogue is a foreign word to them. I’m a firm believer in dialogue. It can only happen when one is willing to listen, even to an opposing viewpoint. I don’t have to agree with someone to listen to their perspective. In fact, I learn from them.
There are so many topics I’d love to write about that generate dialogue. But, the greatest hindrance to dialogue is failure to listen.
Listening is a precious commodity in today’s social media age. Sadly, it’s becoming scarce.