Your responsibility online – every comment counts!
Do we have a responsibility to manage what we say online & the effect it may have on others?
Certainly we expect that professional journalists obey this law and are very disappointed when we find out that the truth has been swayed for publicity. But do we consider that what we post, share and comment on should come with the same discernment and responsibility?
In a day and age where the majority of us have at least one social media channel (Facebook/ twitter/ Instagram/ LinkedIn/ WhatsApp and so on), have you considered why we are on them?
The original purpose of Facebook is to connect people, immigration and relocation have created a demand for a platform where we can keep in contact with our family and friends who are not necessarily in close proximity – it is not uncommon that you may have a close family member on the other side of the world, childhood friends in a different country & even spouse who may be on work leave one, two, even three thousand miles away.
So, the internet religiously serves its purpose and lets us connect with whoever we want, but do we always use it for its intent and responsibly share, comment and connect with our fellow internet users?
Research points that we do not – All Rise (non-for-profit organisation) conducted a study of 12,556 participants in 2015 and found that 72% have witnessed or are aware of cyber abuse happening & 1 in 3 have witnessed it at least 6 times.
These statistics should really stop us in our tracks and consider how we are using these amazing platforms – for their real purpose (to connect) or for the exact opposite – disconnect, withdrawal and bully?
My guess is that in our aim to connect with people across the globe, many of us have forgotten what it is like to connect with those around us. The lack of face-to-face interactions has led to desensitisation where we are no longer aware of the repercussions our comments have on those who receive them.
Like words that hurt us, so can online comments and posts. I am sure many, if not all of us, at some point have read something online which has made us hold our stomach. Perhaps we ourselves have posted or shared something which if we realised the repercussions on another person, we would not have.
But without the awareness that these comments and posts can have negative consequences, beyond what many of us can possibly imagine, these behaviours in our society will never cease.
That is why we think it’s crucial to educate everybody we interact with, from young to old in their responsibility online. It is through our collective knowledge and experience that we can share with our clients’ best practice & ethical usage of the web.