How do you manage your social media profile?
Cyber bullying exists but often its the ones that cry that they have been bullied, that have infact in some shape or form contributed to the situation. There is a social media protocol and simple solution to most things. "Block" exists and if you ever want to not read something being said, it simply takes you a few seconds. Secondly, never feed the situation - and that goes online or offline.
In the case of Charlotte Dawson, it was her blatant put down of New Zealand, her place of birth, that started the ball rolling.
She has called people "westie scrag" "ugly fat mole" and more colourful words that would make my grandmother turn over in her grave and if it was not for the past week, I don't think I have heard those words ever be used outside a school yard bullying situation.
In return, some people on Twitter have reciprocated with equally colourful words. It's gotten very nasty and eventually, had it toll on Charlotte. She was admitted to hospital, but then had the brainwave to sell her story to 60 Minutes. Hope she gives the money to charities like Lifeline or Beyond Blue because I am not sure how the public will perceive this.
At the end of the day, there is a brand at stake. In this case, its her personal brand. Now everyone has a view - good or bad. For those like myself who were not sure who she was or what she does, we now know. I only know because I picked up the newspaper in Perth and read about it the other day while I was waiting for a plane.
Managing your online brand is hard. It can sometimes be out of your control but basic rules of conduct still apply. Swearing and name calling alerts certain people on social media, so if you use these terms, then expect some unwanted attention.
Secondly, if you are going to be opinionated, then expect not everyone will agree with you. I wrote some months ago a blog about "What women should do to make their man more successful". Well, the hate mail I got was alarming. I didn't expect it, but did take stock and realise that if I am going to throw my opinions out there, I have to expect that not everyone would agree with me. My blogs often go on Linkedin Groups and forums and everyone has an opinion. Some similar to me and others not. I respect that. In fact, I have learned to embrace the differences in opinions and you will find that mostly they are published on my blogs because people are entitled to an opinion.
I haven't published however, opinions that I think have gone too far. For instance, someone once wrote "you really aren't that pretty". Who cares??? Who would take the time to write this? But in any case, I wasn't going to give this person any power, so I deleted it. Simple. Delete.
However, if someone half reads a blog and then writes an opinion without realising that they haven't gotten the point of the blog, I then still publish it. I think that's ok.
Today, I wrote a blog about the above relating to the Sydney Morning Herald article and two people wrote uncalled for comments. I didn't delete their comments. The first one, was a past Labour Politician who clearly searched for articles on the topic and commenced writing outlandish comments against people, without reading what they had actually written. I addressed that head on and I am sure that person feels quite foolish. The other, I gave thought to and decided that I didn't care enough for the topic to keep the article published. Pop culture has little interest to me and although I have an opinion on any person selling any story to the media, I decided my care-factor was too low on the topic.
If someone had been totally bullied and it was one-sided, I would have had a different opinion. And of course, if they hadn't sold their stories hours later from being admitted to hospital I may not have an opinion at all. But they did.... so they want people to talk about it and so we are wasting 747 words on the topic.
Basically, the moral of the story is becareful what you write, consider others and keep name calling at a bay. Opinions are fine if you are happy to stand by them and accept that not everyone is going to feel the same way as you. If someone has a different opinion, make an informed decision as to whether it is detremental to your brand or not and make the decision accordingly. Not all publicity is good publicity...take note.