Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me...except they do....bad. Any number of terrible things have happened in this world that were a result of words. A man's words have been enough to mobilize entire armies. Entire groups of people have done horrible things or great things based on a few well-chosen words. Wars have started because of words. Which brings to mind the next truth that I have embraced for my own social media success.
#2 No wins a
I know you think you're right. I'm right too. We're all right. We all think we're right. We all want to be right. We'll all protect whatever ground we have gained in order to stay right...even if we're wrong. So, I guess the question is, "is it worth it to be right all the time...and then argue about it so much hat it becomes a name-calling contest?"
It seems that no matter what topic is being discussed, there is someone, somewhere, that will disagree in the most hostile way, using the most vulgar language, and bringing in the most unsubstantiated arguments. That in itself is not a flame war. That is just one blow-hard with a chip on his shoulder trying to get a rise out of you.
If he gets the rise out of you that he intended to get, that is when we may have a flame war. Two sides launching a tirade of craziness and anger across the internet. What a treat! Heck, even if you are not involved in a flame war, they're difficult to watch.
There are unintended consequences for getting involved in a flame war.
The consequences can be less than amusing.
For instance, you may be right. The person may be out of line, and it may be totally called for to begin calling them an idiot or any other name that may be running through your gifted little brain (I've got a ton I'm thinking about right now). But if you do resort to name-calling, people may unfriend or unfollow you just for being a name caller. It could be big enough that people will talk to others and convince them to stop following you too. Now what?
Keep in mind, some of these are started by trolls, or trolling. These flamers are trying to start a flame war by producing incendiary comments. That's what they do. Sometimes, these are caused by the lack of social cues in an online environment that would normally be present in a face-to-face conversation. This causes misunderstandings.
So, avoid them.
Do not get mixed up in them. Take it from an expert in getting mixed up in flame wars.
No one wins.
Let them have their say.
and ignore it..
Don't be an idiot...
Don't be stupid...
Don't get involved...
Just get out....
You'll thank me later when people are still following you and friending you and you look like a big boy/girl with your big boy/girl pants on. Just stay out of flame wars. Walk away. There's nothing to see here. If you see it escalating, be the big person.
Don't comment back.
Has this ever happened to you? What did you do? I hope to hear from you. Please respond if you have any tips for avoiding these traps. Or maybe you are the type of person who likes to wade right in like Patton. Let's talk about that too.
And stay tuned next Monday for the next installment of 10 Truths About Social Media Success!