“Grant me the maturity to understand the things I should not post, the insight to share the things I should, and the wisdom to quickly know the difference!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
That’s why I try to work hard to keep my opinions to myself. As a futurist, I’m on the side of facts, in a world in which for many people, facts don’t matter – agendas do.
Given what I do, I obviously have a social media presence – I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Substack, Instagram. (My sons and their fiances don’t think I should go near TiktTok, and I faced a similar edict with Snapchat.) I share insight on trends, innovation, creativity, things that capture my mind.
But at each and every moment that I consume media, I often find myself bubbling with rage, consumed with my incredulity, struggling with my disbelief with what I see. I want to lash out, respond, and try to set things straight.
And often, to my credit, I don’t. Antixaxxer and vaccines? For a long time, I’ve wanted to post this picture to express my opinion: but I continually try to hold myself back from doing so. So I’ll just post it here and leave it at that.
I sometimes find it necessary to put some people on notice as to where I stand – and so for a long time, I’ve had this graph pinned to the top of my Twitter profile.
I’ve come to the point that I have no desire to engage, debate, negotiate or tolerate many of the views which now permeate our world. There is no upside. And I will admit I haven’t done a great job at managing my online presence over the years.
But given how volatile the Covid exit is likely to be, I’ve been doubling down on my effort to avoid posting, desperately trying to remind myself there is no upside than a momentary moment of relief. And so, I’ve come to think about the elements of action behind what I call my Social Media Serenity Prayer action plan:
- Could the post do me damage?
- Should I find some other way to deal with my frustration?
- Is this something I would actually say in a room full of people I don’t know?
- What is the likelihood that what I post might come back to haunt me?
- What is the actual purpose other than letting me manage my emotions?
- What might what I post today look like five years from now?
- Have I really thought about how I should pause and think before I post something?
- Will others actually learn anything from what I post?
- Does anyone actually care?
- Might it be more harm than good?
- What good will it actually do me?
- What harm might it do?
- How does this actually affect my personal brand?
- What purpose would it serve other than letting me let off some steam?
- Does it make me look like a flaming idiot?
- What impact will the post have on the work I do as a futurist?
And so as I think these things, I actually manage to avoid posting a lot of my reactive instinct.
It’s a challenging world. Sometimes, it’s best that we keep our opinions to ourselves.
Over and out.
Some responses go to > /dev/null.