Although I admit the Christmas parties our brokerage holds every year are very nice affairs, held in a beautiful environment, which lends itself to better behavior than perhaps other locations, I swore off company parties years ago.
Let me clarify - I specifically swore off parties involving alcohol, as I believe that to be the foremost culprit in promoting a certain lack of decorum. Once you have seen wildly inappropriate behavior from co-workers, believe me, it cannot be unseen or soon forgotten. And often it can affect the way you feel about that person and their judgement (or lack thereof).
And so it goes with social media.
I don't think I am saying anything new when I say I am aghast at what I have seen some folks publish publicly over the past few months. It has been nothing short of eye popping, frustrating, insulting and maddening.
In short, I am amazed.
I'm all for people voicing their opinion and passioniately depending it. But to then go on to slam others for having a different opinion...well, that's horse of a different color and a real shame.
Every time I read a public post full of anger which expresses what sounds like pure hatred for at least half of the folks in the country, I cannot help but be stunned by it.
It's no longer about opposing opinions.
It's about vitriol. Hate. Insensitivity. Anger with some bitterness on the side.
Does it even matter which side of any particular argument they are on? Not to me. I'm more shocked at how hostile, how infuriated and how hateful some people appear.
Certainly no one I would want to do business with - regardless of their politial affiliation.
And these are not necessarily posts from people with whom I am online friends, no, these are public posts for all the world to see. For all prospective clients, prospective employees and prospective employers to see.
Of course, there appears to be no lack of people who feel the same way, so I suppose they can all connect and be miserable together. I just don't want negative people intruding in my life if I can help it.
I guess on another level, I should be grateful to see people exposed for who they are. For their opinions don't just tell us what they think of any given subject, it also says something about them. And in many cases, what it screams to me is "I'm a bitter, cynical, unhappy person."
Who wants to be around that by choice?
Have I let social media affect ME these last few months...oh, sure....I now know who I wouldn't want to work with, who I certainly would not refer business to and whose online rantings I no longer wish to see.
Does it bother me the way it apparently bothers other people? Not really, other than the sadness I feel when I realize someone I previously admired doesn't have the sense not to spew hatred online or repeat things that have no basis in reality. I have friends who read things on FB and then explode over it...my advice? Walk away.
And my advice for those people screaming on FB, Twitter, etc. every single day? How about turning that negative energy into something positive and work to be the change you are demanding. Sitting in front of a computer screen really isn't going to change anything, nor will it change anyone's opinion.
Or as I like to say, "no good can come of it."