In the past, when you experienced bad service in a business establishment, you would normally ask where the manager is. When a staff hears you utter the magic words, ‘May I speak with the manager’, it means that a major complaint is under way. Depends on what type of customer you are, the situation could happen smoothly with hardly anyone noticing, unless you were the rant-and-rave type.
Accountability of Bloggers and Social Media Users
Forward to the present where social media rules, the art of using those six magic words to complain about bad service or a poor product quality becomes 140 characters which has a potential to be viewed by millions of people around the world. With these, what used to be low-key becomes an exponentially powerful tool because of the internet and social media.
Therefore, even if you are a well-established business or product, or even a well-respected person, you can get affected either in a harmful or useful way through social media. A person’s complaint through blogs and other social media tools can become someone or something’s demise or success. Realizing what social media can do, there arises a need to question the accountability of bloggers and social media users.
The problem, however, is that the internet is a free territory where anyone can do anything to their heart’s content. Even if a country has strict regulations concerning the use of social media, it is still difficult to control the millions of users and hold someone accountable for something that is damaging. Thus, this call for accountability falls solely on the shoulders of almost all of us who use blogs and social media – the call to carefully consider and think about the consequences before we post it or tweet it.
For one, what we write and publish online can someday backfire because what is put on the web remains there forever. Even if you delete it, somebody could have reproduced it and haunt you in the future.
All bloggers and social media users should be guided by one’s ethics and discernment, and be able to determine what is beneficial and what is harmful. We should be aware of the fact that social media was basically created to bring people together, not pull them apart. Therefore, we have to consciously remind ourselves before we decide to make those 140 characters go live on the virtual world that constructive criticism is healthy but name calling isn’t.
The comfort of anonymity can make us more vocal in our complaints. However, in the throes of our passionate rants, we must prevent ourselves from spewing out insults and expletives.
Instead of encouraging a negative atmosphere, make your complaint more positive and open for a friendly discussion. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, the question is whether you are serving the real purpose why you are using social media. Stop for a while and think whether you’d want to be a recipient of what you are about to do. Then, bloggers and social media users become more restrained and careful.
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