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What It Means to be #PositivelySocial (Aug 14)

Posted on : 06-08-2012 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Inspirational, Leadership, Social Media

Tags: ,

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Have you seen this video by Adam M. Smith? If you are involved in social media you probably have because it has been a hot topic of conversation.  This is where #PositivelySocial meets the offline world.  In the video Mr. Smith is going through a Chick-fil-a drive through with the sole goal of recording himself sharing his thoughts regarding Chick-fil-a while obtaining his free water.  First I want to offer kudos to the employee who handled herself beautifully.  I am sorry that Mr. Smith has lost his job over the video but I do not think we should treat people, especially employees like this one, in a manner that has been considered by many as disrespectful. In my view those who are choosing to boycott the chain are certainly within their right and that is a #PositivelySocial way of trying to drive change.  I also respect anyone who lives up to their religious beliefs in everything they do.  I am respectful of all religions around the world. At times there may be differences between what I believe and other religions or individuals but I have to respect the rights people have to those beliefs.  I love hearing about differences so I can learn from them, and deepen my own understanding.  It does not mean I will agree with them but I will always respect the individuals and their rights.

Being #PositivelySocial does not mean you do not have opinions, because we all do.  It is all about how you decide to express those beliefs to those around you.  In my view the #positivelysocial beliefs are:

  1. Respect Others – This to me is the number one issue.  We all are passionate about our beliefs and often we express them in a manner that is closed to others, or sometimes downright cruel to others.  I think the video associated to this post is a perfect example regarding respect and why it is so important. Treat people the way you would want to be treated, sounds simple but not always happening. We can help lead by example.
  2. Welcoming Dialogue on the Topic – The greatest aspect of social is the fact that everything is open for discussion, so when posting, be open to the conversation, in fact welcome it!  Recently the situation involving Penn State caused a lot of discussion.  Within social media this dialogue was highly divided, especially within my Facebook newsfeed.  Since I grew up in Pennsylvania, I had many friends talking about the decisions by the University and the NCAA.  There were defenders of Joe Paterno, and those who completely offended by the reports of his participation.  Those offended sometimes referred to his defenders as being as guilty as Joe Paterno was made out in the reports.  I could see both sides in this issue.  As a father, I have strong beliefs on what should happen to child molesters and those who support or protect them. At the same time, I understand that Joe Paterno past away prior to the investigation into the matter by the University and his family was not able to share information on the topic.  I am sure more information will come out over time and people will come to their conclusion of guilty or innocence.
  3. Sharing Links that Live up to being #PositivelySocial - In my #PositivelySocial post over on Social Media Today, I discuss the story of  Harper Gruzins.  This 11 year old girl struggled singing the National Anthem, but the worst part was the manner in which the web turned on her.  In the post I talk about some horrible comments found on YouTube, but there were many others throughout the web. One website posted the video to help take this 11 year old down a few notched because on her “fu–ing” website she refer to herself as a singer-songwriter.  We should not share links to sites that treat people in a manner we would not want to see them treated.
  4. Take a Stand – If we were at a cocktail party and someone was being insulting to others, or unsocial in any way, someone would usually tell them to knock it off or leave. It is time we think about that as people around us are doing things that could be insulting to others.  We should also make clear to community style websites that it is important that their content be appropriate and comments or discussions are managed in a way that does not take away from the community as a whole.
  5. Truth and Facts Reign Supreme – The web is filled with innuendo, speculation, and down right errors.  The key is verifying information prior to sharing. Try to not add to inappropriate sharing (I have been guilty of this but I always strive to validate as much as I can)
  6. Share the Good Too – It is easy to share the negative.  I do it all the time, especially regarding Customer experiences.  Sharing negative experiences is sometimes very positive way of tell a brand that you do care about them.  Let’s fact facts, the opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy.  At the same time if you are always sharing the negative people may lose sight as to who you are, try to share the good too.  I have also found brands want to know what they are doing well so they can strive to do more of it.  Of course this is not just about brands, recognize each other.  That can be a powerful message to those around us all!

I have been amazed by the outpouring of support for #PositivelySocial and I would ask that you help me keep it up over the next week so we can make August 14 a #PositivelySocial day for everyone.  Tell a friend or share your thoughts via social.  Welcome open discussion on the topic! This post was inspired by many of you. I am not looking for the day to simply be about being nice, but instead about truly being social.  One of the best parts of this effort has been the way it has connected me with new found friends.  Shel Holtz who introduced me to Civilination.  The organization’s mission is to foster an online culture where every person can freely participate in a democratic, open, rational and truth-based exchange of ideas and information, without fear or threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment or lies. I love it, and look forward to getting involved with them further.Together we are changing the world! How do you define #PositivelySocial?

Thank you!

Related Posts

Scott Monty’s Post “When Did We Get So Nasty”

Another Post I did on Topic for Social Media Today “Dear World”

A Day to be #PositivelySocial (Aug 14)

UPDATE:  The Person who did the initial video has apologized in this video