When we post on social media we are leading by example. Whether we are posting an original thought or responding to somebody else, our words are an example of our thinking. Each contribution is a small sample of the person we are and of the mind that we possess.
Will our posts be judged? Yes, they will. Some will judge vociferously, without reservation and cruelly. Their voices often receive amplification and affirmation through networks of real and robotic trolls. They don’t care about your ideas. They want to occupy your space; to get inside your thoughts. They want to disrupt your ability to create and contribute. Block and manage those interferences with rigour and conviction. Build your networks on-line the way you cultivate friendships with people you interact with face-to-face. Social media does not stand apart from “IRL”. Social media is a part of your real life. Many do not see it that way. Multitudes of men engage in misogyny, hate and violence on-line while conducting themselves tolerably at grocery stores or in the workplace. Whether they are traumatized, whether they think they are “just joking” or whether they harbour criminal fantasies, they are causing grievous harm. They need to stop, find help and re-build themselves.
For the rest of us, let our contributions lead to an expansion of thought in the hive mind of humanity. We can solve sexism, racism, hate, climate change. We can all be better. What has been shared with me in sincerity and honesty on social media channels, both publicly and privately, are observations that I am grateful for. I see and note the examples of who you are.
When we contribute to the stage of social media, we are showing ourselves to others. Maya Angelou, a poet of soul and expression, speaks with the clarity of truth in writing, “When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.”