Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anger and Social Media

Survival Tips in the Digital World

I know I have posted this before, but it bears repeating. People forget that digital is forever, and each time we post something (even if we delete it later), it becomes a page in our digital legacy, because someone, somewhere is reading and remembering it. Please take a look at these tips (Honed on the Social Media and Email battlefield), and pass it along. Thanks.

So, these are things that I have;
Tried to learn the hard way,
Seen friends try to learn the hard way, and
figured I'd share these tips with you.

1. 30 minute rule. Never communicate if you are in a high emotion frame of mind (including feelings of low self-esteem). Wait 30 minutes, take a walk (sometimes, a long walk) without a Smartphone (of course) and come back, then try it again. If you're still in a high emotion frame of mind, call and friend (that isn't just a 'Yes' person) and vent, then try again. Remember, emotions can make smaller issues bigger than they are. Give it a bit of time, and you will see things clearer, and act more accordingly.

2. Never assume your email made it to the person. Yes friends, even Gmail may throw your message in the other person's spam folder.

Tip: Wait a day or two, then email them again asking nicely if they've received it. You may wait a bit, and (if they have an account) MySpace message them, FB message them to see if they've received it.

3. Emails (or status updates or any messages, really) don't have tone or feeling. Use similes more often can help. Realize that you are already at a disadvantage when you use computer typed words to reflect feelings. Try to cut the other person a huge bunch of slack when they don't understand exactly where you are coming from, because honestly, they probably don't.

4. If there is confusion in a back and forth email disagreement- Stop, and pick up a phone and call. Nothing beats a voice, nothing. If that isn't possible describe how you feel and ask the other person to explain where they are coming from.

5. Never assume that the receiver has actually read your email. It may have made it to the person you sent it to, but it is number 555 in their inbox. This really could be the case. If its a busy  podcaster/blogger/vlogger, they probably have many emails to read. Give them some extra time to respond.

6. The old "compose/throw away/cancel" rule. If you are angry/fed-up/frustrated with a situation, and you must write something down, do it, but do it safely. Take out one of those, um, pieces of paper and a pen, write and write and write, then wad it up and throw it away. Obviously, you can type on a Word doc, but no fair saving it! After the throwing away or canceling, take a long walk. Note: Remember, once you send an email, you can't get it back.

7. Don't project your emotions on someone else. The person you sent the message to, doesn't know your state of mind. Don't assume they can read your mind.

8. Be patient. Yep, that's it- be patient. You only see with your 'to-do' list, your schedule, etc, you have no clue of what the other person has to do, or what they are going through. We need to learn to care about other people's lives and schedules, and not just our own.

9. Use spell check on your message. Spell check. Spell check (You get the idea). You can add constant spell check in Firefox. that has saved me many, many times.

10. Proofread visually before you send your email. Sometimes the words are spelled right (Meaning you ran spell check), but the wrong words are used. Just give it a once over, before you send it off.

11. Keep the good emails (Tape them up near your computer and read them when you feel low), and

12. Read the bad emails, yup, read them; Keep the things that are "growth opportunities" for you (This may take a huge dose of humility to find in these emails), and Leave the rest. Delete when done. Forget the wording, try to forget the sender, but remember the "growth opportunities," and adopt them. Sometimes gold is found in rocks thrown at you. Hard, but good lessons can be there.

13. Not everyone will agree with you, like you, be honest with you, be dependable or make your life easier.

Be the person to make things better --

14. Send a compliment email to an unsuspecting person. I now induct you as a "Compliment Delivery Person". Maybe there is a podcaster, podcast listener, blogger, blog reader, vlogger, vlog viewer, friend that you haven't seen around or heard from in awhile. Maybe someone has been sick, sad or both- send a compliment to them. You never know the full implications of giving goodness. Sadly, we all don't do enough goodness-giving. Sermon over.

Remember, you can't control the emails that come to you, but you can control the emails that come out of you.

Signed, The biggest offender of all of these (Remember, we can always start over. Now is the time for me, too.), Jeff


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are really great tips.

Jack J Ward said...

Thanks for these, I'm going to write a blog post about this and reference this article (if you don't mind). Two things come to mind when I read these:
1. Why don't people treat each other with respect that these are needed?
2. What kind of world would it be if people considered ideas instead of emotions as their chief mechanism of response to something that is written?

Men Are Dumb. I Are One. said...

Thanks, Alex.

Jack, reference away. Thanks.

My Buzz on Vibes said...

Excellent tips! This is just what I needed to read. I'm going to go deliver some compliments now. ;)