I spent the weekend in Kilkenny. My purpose was to attend a conference for the National LGBT Helpline. As the coordinator of the Galway branch of the helpline my role is be there as a support for the Galway volunteers, as well as recruitment and training of any new volunteers. I essentially ensure the Galway line functions as part of the national line. It’s an honour to be in the this role but it was also an honour to be asked to speak at the conference.
In a room full of people I gave my short presentation on the dos and don’ts of social media. I’m confident it went down well and there seemed to be a positive reaction from the audience. Social media can be incredibly powerful for any business or personal venture but it can also be very cruel. It doesn’t take much for an anonymous keyboard warrior with a chip on their shoulder to start a a vicious campaign against an innocent person and the wrong reaction from the innocent party can just add fuel to the fire. I’ve been a victim of it myself. A few years ago I made a flippant comment to someone who was trying to attack my way of life, my beliefs and my feelings. In anger I replied with something sarcastic which they took out of context. This then became the mainstay of their argument and everything else that had gone before was ignored.
Innocent mistakes happen. Comments in the heat of the moment will more often than not not be constructive of helpful. As Erik Qualmann said “The beauty of social media is that it will point out your company’s flaws; the key questions is how quickly you address these flaws.”