Ever typed something you wish you hadn’t? Have you posted anything online you later regretted? Have your online posts hurt you in any way? Has it caused a problem with a friend or family member? It certainly affected my online presence for quite a while.
Social media usage during the recent presidential campaign is a good example of poor online behavior. Opinions online were more strongly worded, hateful talk was common and people were extremely polarized. Of course, President Trump seemed to bring out the worst in people, no matter their party affiliation or political beliefs. Many of us looked forward to the end of the race, regardless of who won.
Facebook especially was a very negative place and I stopped looking at it after a few months of others displaying their anger and extreme negativity. Many of their messages on social media were surprisingly dramatic and full of bad vibes. It seems to me that many of them had not considered carefully what they wrote. Some of my friends’ online presence was different from the real-life people I know. I was disappointed at times when the online and actual personas were not so alike.
It is OK to have an opinion, but remember that it looks much different online. People you know will probably not tell you when you look foolish, but a strong opinion of negativity or hate may be remembered a long time. You may feel powerful in a detached way, but it can backfire. Beware of your online postings!