Woody Allen wished that life were like this Annie Hall scene with Marshall McLuhan:
Well, Woody. Life is like this now. We can interact instantly on social media. And we can pontificate to anyone who is willing to listen over the digital grapevine.
Social media can leave us collectively caught in the trend of the moment. We can shout from the safety of our living rooms. But we shouldn’t let the thrill of being heard drown out the facts.
As a society, we need to:
- Be more aware of the rapidly changing media, technology, and journalism environment.
- Learn what this means for you and your business.
- Learn how to handle it with a cool head.
Here are some ways to do this:
- Take a deep breath, and think before tweeting, retweeting, or sharing a photo.
- Don’t hit send or publish when you’re angry or upset. While this isn’t always possible for hotheads (you know who you are), at least become more aware of how hitting publish can potentially backfire.
- Read the Reuters Handbook of Journalism to learn about accuracy and freedom from bias. It’s a helpful resource that can guide us to better ways of reacting and reporting during times of uncertainty.
- Think differently. Sensational journalism can often lack objectivity. Look at where you’re getting your news. If you don’t think you’re seeing all sides of a story, consider other sources for your information. Don’t pigeonhole your mind.
- Don’t judge others for auto-tweets during a tragedy. I’ll leave it at that.
- Understand and keep up with your rights to privacy (tin foil hat not required).
- Look to the past to find parallels for what’s happening today, to more easily embrace the future.
- Program your social media channels as if it’s your own work of art. Have fun with the many ways to tell your brand’s story.
How do you seek comfort and keep a level head in today’s media environment? Please comment below.
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