This week, we’ve watched horrific events unfold across the nation. Hurricanes decimated Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. A gunman opened fire on concert goers in Las Vegas, killing 59 and wounding hundreds of people. It’s more than anyone can bear. To be honest, some days, I don’t watch or read the news.
I can’t avoid the chatter on social media, however. Not only do I rely upon social media for my own promotional needs, but I am part of a freelance team managing social media for a large, global marketing agency. Our clients rely on us to publish great social media posts and to maintain constant awareness of what’s trending. On any given day, I am checking into my social media accounts several times a day, liking, commenting, following, and sharing.
As anyone who follows social media will attest, there’s no shortage of opinions. No, people aren’t shy on social media! This week alone, I’ve read everything from conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas gunman (he wasn’t a lone wolf, he was a secret Antifa member, he was a secret Al-Queda member, you name it) to so much vitriol and hatred against the president that I feel like I went swimming in a tar pit.
I have opinions. I consider my opinions well-formed, based on sound, intelligent reasoning, logical deduction, and a well-read mind. That said, I don’t share them on social media.
Social media has been called an echo chamber and it is quite true. Few of us have friends with differing opinions; we rarely tolerate opinions contrary to our own.
Perhaps even more importantly for a freelancer such as myself, social media puts my opinions on display for all to see, including current and prospective clients. It’s a known fact that companies screen potential employees’ social media feeds during the recruiting process. So too do clients see my social media posts, which is why I stay within neutral topics.
I’m not saying that freelance writers, consultants, editors and others offering services hide their opinions. We all have opinions. I am saying to be very careful about how you express them on social media. Unless you want to limit your work options, it may be better to keep your opinions to yourself or express them among close friends. In person. The old-fashioned way.