Regardless of how fair and neutral you are about anything, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, for any number of reasons. In the Internet era, blogs and social media have become virtual soap boxes for people to vent their frustration on. Just from being around people who blog, and from my own experiences, I’ve learned a few lessons that I want to share with you.
Talking About Co-workers Online
Almost everyone uses the web to some degree; this includes the people you work with, family, and friends. Remember that once you write something and post it on the web, it is there forever. Sure, you can delete the post, but there are numerous ways your posts are recorded: cache memory, web archives, and RSS feeds are just a few. If you want to post something negative about your boss, you have to assume he will read it eventually by finding it himself or being told about it from other co-workers (maybe someone with a grudge?) Murphy’s Law is a real stickler, these things have a way of coming back on you. It is best to not talk about anyone at work, whether it is good or bad, because the risk is simply not worth it.
The 24-hour Reprieve
This is a rule that I stick by religiously no matter what happens. When you get angry at someone, for whatever reason, and want to return fire immediately, write out your response to this person. Then, instead of sending or posting it right away, come back to it 24-hours later and send it. I have done this at least 5 times since I thought of this concept, and every single time I came back and deleted the email or post. This is just an implementation of the “cooler heads prevail” anecdote. Once the anger dissipates, we often see the situation for what it really is; which is something we usually can’t do when angry.
Battle of the Comments
Have you ever been working with a group of people on a project or task, and two people start arguing with each other non-stop? While it may be a little entertaining at first, it quickly gets old and annoying. Well, a blog’s comment sections are no different. Depending on what type of blog you have, most people are not reading it to watch two people tear each other apart. Engaging in flame wars on your own blog, or any blog really, looks horribly unprofessional. It also perpetuates the whole issue too, when what you really want is for the person to go away instead. If you really want to discuss the matter further, attempt to do so privately. In the end, people will respect you for it.
This World is Nuts, Don’t Forget It
For a number of reasons, there seems to be a denser population of nutjobs in the world. To see my point, just read or watch the news any time. You never know who you are dealing with, especially in an environment that makes anonymity possible. Life is difficult enough without enemies, so it is only in your best interest to avoid making any if you can help it. You never know if your angry words might be the last straw for the person on the receiving end. Overall, just remain aware that everything you post on your blog is going to be read by real people, most of whom you really don’t know from a hole in the wall.