I’m sure this has happened to you. A friend disagrees with something you posted on social media or a colleague posts something on your page that is insulting. Before jumping off your seat, remember everybody has a different perspective –and not everyone has to agree with you. Therefore, it is important not to react with anger and fire back an aggressive, knee-jerk response. Instead, consider doing these 5 things.
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1. Don’t reply right away
If someone posts something you don’t agree with, do not respond immediately. Instead, take some time to think of an appropriate response; write it down elsewhere. Set it aside for a while and come back to it at a later time to review it. The idea here is not to fire back in a way that will show you are angry or simply cannot handle the pressure.
2. Don’t take it to heart
Don’t take everything in the post to heart. More often than not, the posts that anger and insult us are written out of emotion and lack factual data. Therefore, trying to make sense of it all on social media is just not worth it.
3. Don’t be rude
It is tempting to be rude in your response in order to show the person in question that they made a mistake (or simply that you don’t agree with what they say.) However, a rude response will only fan the flames of discord and will not lead to anything good. Remember: a social media conflict is not only between you and the other person; it’s out there for the whole world to watch.
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4. Don’t offend anybody
Never post something that will offend somebody on their page. If someone tags you or post an offensive message on your page, erase it immediately. Keep in mind that some social media platforms, including Facebook, let you review a post where you’ve been tagged before showing up on your wall. This is a good way to avoid conflict even before it arises.
5. Take it offline
If the topic is close to your heart, then try to take the conversation offline with the individual –if possible. If the confrontation is with a colleague or an acquaintance, consider first if it’s something worth addressing. Sometimes you must just let it go and focus on what your relationship is all about.
See also: You’ve lost your motivation! Now what?
The way you handle a different opinion or a conflict on social media speaks volumes about you, your professionalism and your credibility. Social media is not the platform to prove you are right and the other person is wrong. It is simply a public tool used for entertainment and information sharing. Conflicts and disagreements are best managed offline in a private matter.