Is it O.K to Speak your mind online about hot topics?

There has been an ongoing debate across the different social networks as well as in the offline world  where people are asking how far can you go when you want to speak your mind online especially about the many hot topic discussions going on and specifically can you speak your mind and still be able to work online without being penalized.

There is a segment of people who feel that they should be able to say whatever they want about those topics that they feel strongly about  from politics to religious beliefs and if they can’t they wonder –  “WHY NOT!” You can’t help being online and coming across topics that might be heated or contentious and if you have very strong views about those topics, then speaking your mind online  about hot topics should be the right thing to do shouldn’t it? Many people  feel slighted when they are told to stop talking , they feel that being stifled  impedes their freedom of speech. A lot of  these same folks   feel that  people  for the most part are becoming a bunch of sheeple and regardless of whether you work or play, you have the right to say as you want. Personally I think that speaking your mind online is a lot more difficult when working online, because  when you state your opinion about hot topics it tends to create a commotion   While some people might find the “outspoken” or “straight talk  refreshing others will  “look at you with a strange look” and even distance themselves. You have to admit that it was a lot easier when everyone was off line, everything was more simple.  You went to work and there were work ethics, you went home to relax and play and when you wanted to talk about hot topics such as politics etc,. you would meet up with people who shared your thoughts and you could talk freely.  Not any more! speak your mind used to be easy in your home With the advent of social media and social networks everyone  now has an opinion about everything and it has been creating a controversy among different people. What it comes down to is the question and I speak specifically about working online,  is it appropriate to speak your mind online about hot topics such as politics, religion etc.? There are really two sides to this debate, both of them have their points and both are valid depending on your values and what you believe in. For any debate to be as impartial as possible , one needs to look at both sides of the question, so that a person can form their own opinion. pros and cons to speaking your mind online so….

The Pros

Do speak your mind online about hot topics

1.There are many people who feel that speaking their opinion about hot topics is the right thing to do especially when the social media world keeps saying that being authentic and transparent is important to earn trust. 2. Many people are only seeing the different social networks as shallow feel good posts that are trite with no substance. No one has the courage to speak to how they feel especially about politics or other hot topics 3. There are people who feel strongly that by speaking their opinions, they are looking at the greater good of people and in fact by staying quiet they feel someone could be hurt, whether it be a country or a person. 4. By speaking up and stating  their observations or conclusions, they are encouraging others to speak out also after all many people may have the same thoughts but are afraid of voicing how they feel. 5. There are people who will say “consequences be damned, I’m speaking out because if changes are not made I feel the world is going to hell”( That was an exact quote from a person on Facebook btw.) 6. Regarding that last thought, there are many people who feel ( and it has been proven) that using social networks can highlight important news, it can be powerful in making changes.

The Cons:

Don’t speak your mind online about hot topics

1. Many people feel that social networks are the worst place to speculate or state opinions because there is a lack of editorial controls, its hard to sort out the truth from rumor and in some cases has done more harm by creating a mob mentality. 2. There are those people who feel that if you are speaking your opinion on hot topics in a way that is derogatory as in calling people “morons” “ignorant” “idiots” then you will lose any chance at getting referrals as in “Your behavioral choices just made you…. “unreferrable”!” source: The Worst…You Made Yourself Unreferrable! via Jay Izso https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140719215850-25541349-the-worst-you-made-yourself-unreferrable 3. Even though you may be passionate about a topic, there are others who will disagree with you and in business that means avoiding you like the plague 4. You know the saying about not mixing business with pleasure? it is also the same with mixing business with politics or religion. The people who feel this way, feel that there is no relevancy between the two topics. I can certainly understand why people share their opinions, it can create awareness, it can create a way for people to talk and it sure can relieve the frustrations that you are feeling. how I feel about speaking my mind online about hot topics Well now that you have some (hopefully) objective pros and cons to speaking your opinions on hot topics, what do I feel about  “speaking your mind on  hot topics  when working. I have seen friendships broken, people being offended and even hurt when talking about topics such as politics, religion and lifestyles. I have seen people start out being civil and have then have that conversation break down to name calling or worse. I have heard  people saying that the only way to show transparency is by being honest all of the time no matter what. Sorry I have to disagree..to me being honest, authentic and transparent means  and I have stated this elsewhere  is” knowing who your are, your values,your emotions, how you are seen by other people and by being true to yourself. That may sound  simple but to me  that is the essence of being  authentic.  I would also add that being honest and real “in the moment” is showing transparency. I believe that when it comes how to speak your mine online,  politics and other hot topcis should never be the first thing you talk about but if it does come up and you do have an opinion, then always talk carefully and with thought. Remember this is about work and creating an income and you need to think before speaking NO it is not a cop out.  what I am really trying to say is if you can give an opinion without being opinionated, without getting all bent out of shape, labeling others or even demonizing others then do so, but be prepared, no matter what you say, that there will be someone who will disagree, that is just human nature. Like everything there is a time and place for different aspects for our personalities to show through, each one of those aspects are part of the real “me” and one of the best ways that I can accomplish that is via the use of different personas and creating different accounts on the social networks..one for work and the other for social. I have known people who have 2 or 3 accounts for different aspects of their personality, personally I would find that far too confusing lol. The bottom line is that being real and authentic can be a challenge at times and creating a separation between work and  you opinions on any topic takes thought. I guess in the the long run whether you are pro or con  whether to  speak your mind online about  hot topics, you will have to make a choice – benefits versus the cost of speaking your opinions about hot topics. Lets get a conversation going about this topic, because it is only by having a civil discourse that we can learn  and  share our  “real thoughts”.   Editor’s note:  I was talking to a good friend about this topic and they asked “why” am I writing it. The answer is that there are times when we get into heated discussions where it is very difficult to hear the other person’s point of view.  I wanted to write about speaking you mind especially online from a more unbiased view.  I hope that I accomplished this.  Just as I have my values, I know you do also.  Regardless ..the first rule of engagement when being online is to respect each other until proven otherwise! ~ sincerely Diane Bjorling  

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3 comments

  • Great job of presented the Pro and Cons…….
    Personally we have always let or Customer base know Values and Convictions.
    It is their right to decide to do business or not.
    Never had a lack of customers, New and Old, because of it.
    In fact it is challenging (fun and rewarding) to dialog with customers and prospects who take a different stance on IMPORTANT and relevant topics.
    On social media (Facebook and Google+) and in our mailing lists we have segmented groups that THRIVE on Current events, Political charged and Faith based topics.
    That way we do not bring in the whole army to dialog, just those we know are bent that way.
    Chuck Bartok recently posted…Networking, what is it REALLY…..My Profile

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