This may sound crazy coming from a person who is perceived to be a social media professional and aficionado. But I'm tired of social media. It makes people forget to be nice.
When did people stop being nice?
I think social media killed nice feedback. Hear me out.
When we like something now (whether it be a “Facebook like” or just a like like), we share it. We “Facebook like” it, or share it on Twitter, email links, etc. But do we ever bother to stop and leave a nice comment for the author anymore? Or are the comments sections of online posts reserved for arguments and nasty responses?
There does seem to be an exception when it comes to blogs, I admit. Maybe that is because of the more personal nature of blogging, and the connection readers feel to the blogger. But when it comes to professional writing, does anyone ever feel compelled to leave a positive comment? Or do they “share” it now?
Of course, sharing a well-liked article with your friends is the ultimate compliment to a writer. But unfortunately, the writer will likely never know that it was shared with others. The writer only sees the negative feedback that was left, oftentimes ripping the writer to pieces.
Sure, yes, I am a writer, with 1-3 pieces published online every day, so I am writing this from a personal place of exhaustion and rejection. I've had my fill this week with negative feedback that professional conduct prohibits me from addressing. But oh, how very badly I wish I could respond to some of these people and correct their judgments and condemnation. But alas, I shall not.
(For an example of completely wrong judgments, check out Buy Gun Stocks When a Democrat is in Office. The comment, “this is just another Ron Paul plug by a disgruntled Republican” deserves, nay, begs for correction.)
I'm not writing this as a plea for positive feedback. I'm jaded enough to weather the storms that blow my way. I write about divisive subjects (stock market, finances, religion, and politics), I have it coming. If I don't irritate a few people, I'm probably not doing my job well.
But I do write this on behalf of other writers. The world of writing is anything but fun. You invest your heart and soul into everything you do. Every piece of work (yes, even the ones about the stock market) is personal. Next time you like something you read, don't just “like” it online. Leave a comment and support the writer- the underpaid, hard-working, oft-maligned writer. Tell the the writer you appreciate the perspective, the analysis, or even just the fact that they looked into the subject. Otherwise, the writer may never know he or she did a good job, and will be left with nothing but the negative feedback to gauge the success of his or her career.