LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Social media platforms provide a landing strip for connecting with old friends, posting photos, telling stories, keeping up with news, and of course, sharing opinions.
Since 2008, I've helped managed three different Facebook pages for businesses: a restaurant's, a boutique's, and now, a local TV station's. With four years under my belt of reading reviews, comments, complaints, criticism, and praise, I've learned to have thick skin, because let's face it, many don't filter themselves on social media platforms. Social venues have given people the opportunity to say something they maybe wouldn't ordinarily say to someone's face.
Over the past few years of being fully engulfed in social media, I've asked myself, is it okay? Is it okay to speak without a filter on these platforms without regard for others' opinions or beliefs? The truth is, I don't have an answer for the masses. I know that on a personal level, I try to use the same etiquette on social networks as I do in person, but that's just me.
Because I can't speak for the majority, I asked our Facebook fans what they think. I said, "It's pretty obvious that social media has changed the way we interact with the world. Do you think Facebook and other platforms have taught us to speak without filter or regard for others' opinions? To say things we normally wouldn't say in person? If so, do you think it's okay?"
Here are a few responses from the conversation, but you can read the rest on the THV 11 Facebook page:
Kimberly: "Of course it's ok!! To quote from a movie [The American President]: ""You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." If anyone wants to have the right to speak their thoughts and ideas, you have to allow those who appose your ideas the same right. Social media is just one way of allowing that to happen!"
Lynda: "I think people forget how to respect others on Facebook...I see a lot of vulgar remarks and lots of people are hasty to pass judgment without knowing the facts."
Amy: "I am a firm believer in freedom of speech. However, I do believe social media gives people a venue to talk horrid and nasty to people for their opinions while hiding behind a fake FB profile and a computer! Most people would not say the things they do on social media to people's faces"
John: "People have been hiding behind the keyboard for years in chat rooms, forums and even email. Social media just makes it more mainstream."
Jolene: "Facebook is just like any other tool - in the hands of the right person it is a wonderful blessing and in the hands of the wrong people it is a nasty mess. If people are nasty on FB, then they will be nasty to you in "real life" (even if they don't say the exact same thing). It is never okay when people are rude, nasty or unkind."
Jessie: "Are you kidding me? This is WONDERFUL!!! What I wonder is why "Myspace" didnt have this same effect. I'm sick of no one actually saying what they mean anymore, as if they ever did. There are idiots in the world and our KHARMIC responsibility is to shout them DOWN!!!!
Remember, you too can join the conversation by commenting below or by weighing-in on the THV Facebook page. You can also tweet your responses using the hashtag, #THV11. To everyone who has already shared their thoughts on this subject, thank you!
Written by Jessica Johnson, THV 11 Social Media Coordinator