Author’s Note: The issue I’m addressing is bigger than “LinkedIn.” It extends to every nook and cranny and hidden crevice and cornerstone of the Internet. This was originally posted to LinkedIn. Based upon the response I’ve received, I share it here as a reminder and call to action for all of us. Remember: We are all in this together.
Why I Stopped Posting To LinkedIn
Hello Kind Reader. Welcome back to the inner workings and musings that are my writings. I’m curious: What made you click on this post? Was it curiosity? Or, was it perhaps a concurrence with my decision to stop posting new content? Whatever the reason and underlying motivation, I am glad you chose to indulge in a read.
Safe Haven No More
What happened to LinkedIn? It used to be a haven of professional discourse and true engagement. It was a stark contrast from other social networking sites. Sharing posts used to inspire me to write more. The last few pieces left me feeling semi-numb. On the whole the comments I received were positive, but a handful of individuals decided to use the comments as a forum to air their personal grievances with my topic choice or belief system.
Let me be clear: I welcome all constructive feedback. However, there is a great chasm between “constructive” and “cruel.” I accept a certain amount of risk being a writer in the first place. That being said, enough is enough. It’s time for us to stand together for “Intentional Engagement.” What I mean by Intentional Engagement is choosing to engage with others via a positive intention and mindset, not one of derision or projecting shame.
Revisiting the focus of my last post, let’s ponder the following question. “What is the purpose behind these ‘trolls’ directing diatribes at people they’ve never met just to cause a ‘disruption’ or to project their own dissatisfaction with their lives upon someone else?”
One doesn’t have to look very far amongst the plethora of “posts” to be assaulted by comments motivated to inflict emotional pain and negativity.
If the purpose of LinkedIn is to connect professionals by creating a forum to create something bigger than our individual selves, why do we tolerate the opposite occurring?
Don’t all of us deserve to share our thoughts without being eviscerated by someone’s intent to tear us down, rather than build-up the community as a whole?
As I mentioned in a previous post, the seeming anonymity provided by the Internet dulls our ability to practice basic empathy. I wonder if these “trolls” held up a mirror and read their comments aloud before typing them into their keyboard if they would still hit “enter.” The “mirror test” is a great litmus test for all of us to remember. The key consideration before posting any feedback online: Would you say these words to yourself? If the answer is not “yes,” then don’t share.
Let’s dig deeper into the online phenomenon known as “trolling.” The etiology of a troll according to folklore and fairytales is not surprising. Trolls are creatures that dwell in caves masked by the cloak of darkness. Per Norse myth and legend, “when exposed to sunlight, trolls turn to stone.” How about we modernize the age-old strategy to neutralize today’s social media variety.
Shine A Light
If we shine light upon the “trolls” on social media, we just might soften their impact and eventually “petrify” their efforts. Here is what I suggest. Anytime you encounter a “troll” type online, praise him or her for sharing their feedback. Regardless of what he or she says, show genuine gratitude. Eventually the troll will tire of not inciting a reaction and move on to the next target. However, their efforts will once again be met with “light.” Without causing an “effectful” disruption, the “troll’s” influence wanes until it disappears all together.
Some of you might think what I’m proposing is a Utopian fantasy and that “trolling” is here to stay. To that notion, I say we are stronger when joined “for” something than when we try to go against a perceived attack. If we stand together for Intentional Engagement, the purpose of LinkedIn transforms from lofty idealism into reality. We are not joining together against trolling. We are uniting to shine light into each conversation and discussion online. We don’t have to agree with each other, but we should agree to respect each other in our disagreements.
Change won’t happen overnight. It will unfold in increments each moment we choose to see each “other” as our “own.” Over time, our individual conscious responses could create a monumental difference by leaving a legacy of a “kinder” interspace and social network. What a great motivation to lead us into the Holiday Season and New Year. Let’s get started today: Will you join me and stand for Intentional Engagement?
Nanci Besser is an advocate for social impact via “Intentional Engagement,” and is a Conscious Lifestyle Author, Blogger, Speaker, and Emotional Intelligence Specialist. She believes the key to empowered living is total surrender to the present moment.
Her Go Kindly™ movement and philosophy empowers everyone to rewrite his or her life story with the power and purpose of conscious decision-making through practical spirituality.
Nanci shares how to relate to your life from an empowered, conscious decision-making mindset via practical modalities such as workshops, videos, seminars, and private coaching. She is also available for speaking engagements, guest appearances and hosting opportunities.