It’s easy to look back and see when we overreacted: Hindsight is always superior to foresight.
But at the time, it’s difficult to understand what’s real and what’s fake.
We end up making current decisions based on previous experiences. Too often, our perceptions are incorrect. We really don’t know what’s actually happening. And too often, we simplify something that requires a complex solution.
It turns out, social media is a great place for people to hide. Deep down you will discover that most people you talk to that are afraid or angry or stuck, you will find fear at the center. In addition, everyone has a platform and a microphone to amplify their message of fear. (This is what most news outlets sell.)
And because we are afraid, it easy to hide behind computer screen. It’s easy not to put your name on something. But that isn’t connection. That isn’t going to make the fear go away. (When was the last time a Tweet actually changed us and made us a better person?)
All of this causes us to be distracted by the things that matter most because we bite the hook.
We have a choice though. We can choose to delay.
We don’t have to agree with people trying to get under our skin. We don’t have to teach everyone a lesson online for being wrong. But the delay helps us move from a place of anger, resentment to a place of clarity. It moves us from reacting to a situation to responding.
If we can delay—and not engage with people who are not ready to listen—it opens up a door. A door to initiate and do something that matters for those ready for a connection.
The bottom line is people will say a lot things to get your attention. Don’t let the trolls and the critics have that much power over you. Attention doesn’t necessarily lead to trust.
[My advice: It’s very hard to take back something once it has been posted online. But if we can choose to delay, most of the time we look back and are glad we didn’t write something out of anger. We’re glad we didn’t write something out of resentment. Slowly, we can turn the conversation to a more productive one. One that is away from each other to the actual problem that needs to be solved.]