How to Avoid Conflict in Social Media
photo credit: 姒儿喵喵
I first hooked to the internet at home about 10 years ago with the old 56k dial up modem (remember those? )
After a while, I discovered way of communicating with people online. I used Lycos Chat for quite some while and liked the game aspect of the nautical theme used there. It was all good fun.I also got involved with the odd newsgroup and support network for issues I was facing back then.
In all of these, including blogging platforms I’ve witnessed people get in to disagreements that degenerate at times in to full time “wars”. Some of the worst of this was in a forum of peer support for those who have expereinced bullying. I think that due to people being particularly sensitive and having a desire to stand up for themselves, arguments and insults quickly exchanged hands because the written word was mis-interpretted.
How can we express the true meaning behind what we are trying to say? Visual indicators are difficult. Is someone being witty, sarcastic, frivolous, arrorgant, bossy, aggressive? It is difficult to tell. We can get some help with the invention of emoticons as I used at the top of this post, but I don’t believe that is a replacement for what truly needs to be communicated.This particularly needs attention when writing on controvercial subjects such as politics and religion.
Always read back what you have written, not only to check for spelling and grammatical errors, but also as a reader.
What ways will people be likely to interpret what you have written?
Have you considered any cultural aspects?
If you have written a joke, is it likely to offend somebody and create a conflict?
Have you forgotton to write the word “not” where it is applicable? If this word is missed, you could inadvertantly be expressing the opposite of what is intended.
All the above are errors I have seen and also made myself in the past. I also don’t want to detract from the benefit of writing something controvercial. That can stimulate intellectual and mature debate. Sometimes, when doing this it is worth warning folk at the beginning of the article what the you are trying to achieve. Of course some people simply like to create conflict. I guess that is their perogative, but I personally would not recommend that!
As far as commenting is concerned, it is sometimes tempting to react to an article that is upsetting. That may be because we are directly affected by what is written (which may be deliberately provocative) and sometimes we can get tempted to get involved and try to solve a conflict between others. Despite best intentions, this can simply throw fuel on the fire. It can focus on the negative aspect of the interaction. Sometimes, situations like this are best left alone to burn out naturally.
Has anyone written a blog and been hurt by comments and reactions? I’d be interested in your experiences on this matter.
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Do your eyes get really tired from reading as mine do?
Do you have trouble proof reading your own articles and get frustrated when you have missed a grammatical error in your content?
I’ve found a great way to overcome this. It is simple and very time saving. I recommend using text reading software. I’ve tested a product called Natural Reader. The voice produced on it is very easy on the ear. It is also very inexpensive. It saves so much time and effort stops that temptation to skip content, especially when reading an instructional article. You can just close you eyes and listen if you wish. Here is the link.
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