Social media, like fire or water, is a tool that can be used for good or bad.
I've struggled over the past week how I can contribute to solutions.
1. Avoid shutting down.
The easiest response is "taking a break" from social media.
While valuable for short-term coping, social media was built to connect us.
As we learned from the election, ~35% of Americans will disagree with your views. Social media is partly to blame for the divided states of America—algorithms feeding us more and more of what we want to see.
Avoid creating a false reality or bubble online. We rarely get to shut down, block, restrict, unfollow, mute, hide, unfriend, delete, etcetera in real life.
Use social media to share your stories/experiences—but seek two-way public dialogues to find unity.
2. Listen and respond.
We have to examine the other side. We cannot have one-sided conversations. Again, seek two-way public dialogues or even debates.
Listen with an open-mind and a heart of empathy.
Avoid reactions—these words are often filled with emotion and fueled by adrenaline. Instead, compose responses. These words are carefully crafted, thoughtful and kind.
3. Careful the things you say (and read/share).
Finally, words matter—the things you say, read and share.
If I may, please make sure you consume unbiased nonpartisan news—look for facts, not opinions or speculation.
Choose wisely. If you're going to sway left or right into op-ed, balance that with the other side.
Hopefully, we can meet in the middle.
- Stay active in the conversations.
- Avoid reactions, compose responses.
- Be careful what you read, say or share.
What are your suggestions for uniting America? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.