Let’s be honest, social media has brought a whole new meaning to the op-ed.

I don’t mind it. In fact, I’m more than game to have a discussion on my social media platforms. That being said, sometimes the responses are filled with caustic comments, extraneous exclamation points, and occasional expletives. In many cases, you can observe the tried and true bully pulpit exclamation, “OH YEAH??!!”

It’s one thing to puff out one’s chest and attempt to assert some form of dominance, but when it’s done behind the curtain of a profile picture, it turns into either an annoyance, agitation, or anger. And that’s where the problem becomes conspicuous.   

The social, cultural, and political positions have brought upon a deluge of commentary on everything from wearing masks to racial justice to political chasms. We all clearly have a right to our own opinions and the social media phenomenon has take the old “Letter to the Editor” to an unprecedented place. I fully believe that once written, one has opened up their publication to scrutiny, judgement, and response. That’s not the issue; the concern is who responds and how it impacts each of us.

I said the problem becomes conspicuous. That’s because debates about all issues should at the best cause for thought and reflection. In many cases, we can all learn something new, if we are open to it. At the worst, “friends” may emerge ready to pick a fight or simply be obnoxious. The result is often detrimental because it’s easy to allow the exchanges to erode one’s energy and rent valuable space in our brains.

A good friend and someone for whom I think is incredibly savvy, reminded me of something. He said, “Focus on the relationships you have with people that have positions which require serious thinking, analysis and are responsible for outcome. Time is so limited that it almost becomes kind of a selfish thing. If the objective of the exercise to make your business, your staff and more importantly yourself better every day you don’t have time for lateral or retrograde movement which is all those people can offer.”

Brilliant.

You may be wondering, “what does this have to do with my business or career?”

Well, we don’t only communicate with “friends” on Facebook. You may have employees and co-workers with whom you have dialogue with. It used to be called chatting around the water cooler (which now may be officially outlawed due to the pandemic!). The water cooler has now become more virtual than ever. We are working in the same manner that we publish and respond to our op-eds. The ability for some to range from irritating to infuriating is very much alive – and I don’t necessarily mean politics – I mean the simple daily operations and administration of business. We’ve all been a part of business situations where there is someone prepared to be objectionable and pump out their chest with their own version of “OH YEAH??!!”

You want to maximize your energy? You want to keep a clear head? You want to improve achievement in business and life? You want to have more fun?

It’s not the blockage of opining (though that might be your direction) because operating in business might require it, along with key decisions. What we all must do is take my friend’s words of wisdom. Focus your energy on relationships with people where cogent thinking and intelligent dialogue are present. Focus daily on moving forward with people that want to go in the same direction, regardless of position on ideas. We all learn and grow that way.

Facebook has a snooze button. In your life – both business and personal – feel free to utilize that snooze (or discard) button for those that don’t bring value to your life, career, and business.

Be unleashed and be well.

Quote of the Day:

The greatest remedy to anger is delay.

~ Seneca

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