Don’t go crying to Facebook with every little gripe
Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook that he’d just been out to a restaurant in Rozelle where in his own words, the steak he had “sucked”. I found it amusing, but even more so, the opinions of many of the people who commented, some people suggested that he “name and shame” the restaurant.
Coincidentally, on the same day, while walking in the park with my kids, my mother-in-law needed to go to the loo. I might add that she is an elderly pensioner and had recently undergone serious surgery. I suggested she use the bathroom of a local café that we eat at regularly. Moments later she returned and informed us that they refused to allow her to use their toilet unless she was buying something! I was furious, I just can’t stand that sort of mentality and lack of gracious social consideration! Shame on the café owners, shame!
So it got me thinking, is “naming and shaming” on a social media site the way to deal with things nowadays?
Okay, so I am on a social media styled site right now relating my anger at the lack of decency of that cafe, but from a personal point of view, I don’t think I could name and shame. It’s not my style.
When they first started social media sites, the intention was to start conversations and help people to connect – I still see loads of that going on, which is great, but I’d have to have been living under a rock if I never saw or at least wasn’t aware of social media’s darker side. Not to get into an already overly-discussed topic, but the internet can be a very negative place and you don’t have to dig deep to find some dirt.
One thing I have noticed is that for some people, when they don’t like something, it’s not long before they’ve shared that information with the world - or at least their friends online. But I don’t really care about all of that. My reason for not “naming and shaming” is greater than trying to avoid doing it on the internet; it’s simply that I still believe in talking something out with someone.
I sometimes wonder whether the people who are so quick to name and shame online - often with great passion - are equally as passionate when dealing on a one to one basis with an actual person, i.e. someone who is standing right in front of them. While there might be some instant gratification in commenting online, I somehow doubt that it leaves any real mark. Does it really make a difference? I don’t think so, excepting cyber bullying of course, which is a whole different kettle of fish.
There’s something so definite about looking somebody in the eyes and telling them exactly how you feel. You’re not hiding; you’re being forthright and up front, having the courage of your convictions. It takes guts, but it sure feels good when you do it and more importantly, meeting someone at that level gives everyone an opportunity for explanations, apologies and recompense.
I read somebody online commenting about their boss, saying he was a jerk and didn’t pay enough! Don’t tell me about it, I thought, go tell your boss. Perhaps leave out the jerk part but you’re not going to get fired for asking for a raise!
The bottom line is that “naming and shaming” online isn’t for me. But I will admit this - I was torn when I read a post by a lady in reference to her four-year-old niece. There was a picture of the young niece, beaten black and blue with a belt by her mother’s boyfriend, who is now on the run from the police. The lady who put up the post also named the man and asked for help in finding him.
Was she right to put up this post? I don’t know! There is no blanket rule but for now, I’m still not going to “name and shame”.
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