Society

Social media, the hiding den of keyboard warriors

Social-media#1
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Summary

  • It never ceases to amaze me what people will write on social media, which affords them invisibility and sometimes anonymity if writing under a pseudo name.
  • You will be surprised that the most vocal on social media are as mute as newts in real life and those who display anger and bitterness behind the keyboard are reserved in the open arena of life.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.” Desiderata, Marx Ehrmann.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will write on social media, which affords them invisibility and sometimes anonymity if writing under a pseudo name. You will be surprised that the most vocal on social media are as mute as newts in real life and those who display anger and bitterness behind the keyboard are reserved in the open arena of life.

I am reminded of Playboy magazine, one of those iconic American milestones, which you just wish you could remember for the way it was and not watch it painfully contort into something it is not. I want to remember the magazine for the unrestrained days when the centrefold was the centrefold and Playboy’s Unabashed Dictionary defined a closet queen as a male fraud. In a way, the Unabashed Dictionary section of the magazine was a bit like social media today on the internet; you could get away with just about anything even if it wasn’t truthful as long as it was outrageous and appealed to those with a rather warped sense of humour!

In a recent post by Mohammed Hersi regarding Kenyans’ negative reaction to Naomi Campbell’s appointment as Magical Kenya International Ambassador, he said, “While each one is entitled to their opinion, I also dare say that we are bitter with everything and anything”. While I will not wade into that debate, it is as if we are just waiting for a spark to explode into a rant that is not based on any factual information.

Ann Latham writing in Forbes magazine says that the reason for making your decision is more important than what you decide. She states that muddled decision processes create sceptics and cynics. While making the absolute right decision is often important, how you leave people feeling is always important.

We make thousands of decisions, many of which require our opinion, every day. Many are easy, but others are complex, stressful or both. Because there are so many decisions with literal forks on the road, leading to dramatic impact on results, time, feelings, and relationships, how you make your decisions is extremely important.

The best way to make decisions involves a four-step process that allows you to “SOAR through decisions”, whether alone or in a group. SOAR stands for Statement, Objective, Assessment, Recommendation.

When you conflate the four steps of decision making into one muddled discussion, it stands to reason that you won’t make the best decision. Instead, your decisions are more likely to be influenced by one of three forces. One, is fatigue which argues that the winner is the most cohesive idea on the table when the energy has expired.

Two, is enthusiasm which represents the idea that is most fervently expressed by the loudest reputable group. Three, authority which is the idea expressed by the obvious favourite of the most senior individual. None of these forces produce sound decisions. A lack of process clarity guarantees a slower, more convoluted path to the desired outcome. By focusing on each clear step, one at a time, clarity of purpose is also achieved.

Objectives define the goals and constraints that must guide the decision. A clear understanding of the decision-making criteria is enormous and provides tremendous learning. When you know exactly what you are trying to achieve, you can do it faster.

People are more committed when they believe decisions are made using logical, informed, and fair process with their interests represented. Muddled decisions don’t provide evidence of logic, good input, fairness, or representation of interests.

On the other hand, if people believe that the process was done carefully and fairly, they are more likely to support decisions. When clarity of purpose, process, and roles to the situation are defined, people know what decision they are making, which steps they own, and how to proceed. Clarity of purpose, process, and roles is essential to unleashing ownership.

Since decisions are so common, messy decision processes create room for errors and misunderstanding. Messy decision processes rarely have crystal clear endings, especially since they lead to re-decision the next day. The messier a process, the easier it is for someone to walk out of the room with the wrong message.

Introverts are known for “Waiting for Godot” or put another way, waiting for the right moment to interject their comments. As in the play, often times Godot never arrives. By following well defined processes, we give the introvert a chance to contribute and feel a part of the decision.

Information is power and leads to sound decision making.