How Associations Can Keep Their Messages Conflict-Free
Seventy-eight percent of social media users think hostility is rising on social media, according to a recent survey. Are arguments online becoming real-life beefs?
Social media users apparently aren’t following the old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
According to a recent survey conducted by VitalSmarts, 78 percent of social media users think hostility is rising on social media.
“Social media platforms allow us to connect with others and strengthen relationships in ways that weren’t possible before. Sadly, they have also become the default forums for holding high-stakes conversations, blasting polarizing opinions, and making statements with little regard for those within screen shot,” said Joseph Grenny, co-chairman of VitalSmarts, in a statement. “We struggle to speak candidly and respectfully in person, let alone through a forum that allows no immediate feedback or the opportunity to see how our words will affect others.”
The online survey of 2,698 respondents also found:
- 76 percent have witnessed an argument over social media
- 19 percent have decreased in-person contact with someone because of something they said online
- 88 percent believe people are less polite on social media than in person
- 81 percent say the difficult or emotionally charged conversations they have held over social media remain unresolved
Associations can avoid creating online conflictions with their social media messages by following Grenny’s advice, including being careful to check your motives for commenting, by removing provocative words meant to cause offense, by avoiding comments when you’re feeling emotionally triggered, and by, quite simply, trusting your gut instinct and knowing when to take things offline.
Have you had a conflict on social media that spilled into real-life? How did you resolve it? Let us know in the comments.