Like most things in life there is light and dark, and this is certainly true when you consider the rise and rise of social media. For all the potential good that social media can create through the sharing of thoughts, experiences and wisdom on-line, the dark side of social media that is created by anonymity, allows some people to post abusive, and unfair comments that are aimed solely to hurt others.
My mum’s advice to never say anything about someone unless you’d say it directly to their face may be old fashioned, but I still reckon it’s a pretty good way to go.
I watched a documentary this week covering the story of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil. Regardless of what you think about his political point of view, the lead singer, Peter Garrett, (now Minister for School Education, Early Childhood & Youth) is someone I personally admire for his conviction to make a difference.
The ‘Oils’ music was unique and the lyrics to their songs were often controversial and were anthems for various political, social and environmental causes. Garrett and the other band members reported that they created music that inspired themselves, and that reflected what they saw needing to be held up in the ‘light of day’ for all to see.
Midnight Oil were at their prime before the current day social media was even thought of, and yet in a way, what they were doing through their music, was tweeting and posting to the world their points of view… and they proudly put their name to their music and to those points of view.
Most of the research I’ve seen suggests that there are some high level values that are shared by most if not all sane human beings, one of which is a sense of fairness. Anonymous abusive and bullying tweets and posts certainly scratch deeply against our sense of fairness and it’s this sense of fairness that is giving rise to an anti-anonymity movement that will ideally drive the owners of social media sites to enable the appropriate authorities to trace abusive and bullying tweets and posts and, in the light of day, expose the people hiding behind their anonymity.
Midnight Oil recorded songs that encouraged mindful conversations about serious issues – while we were singing the words with them, we were becoming more aware of their social, environmental and political points of view. We ‘got their truth’ and over time, their intentions, actions and results certainly promoted them positively in a number of ways.
The platform principle of Intentionomics is People Get Your Truth – over time your intentions, actions and results will either promote or expose you. And for the moment, while the shroud of anonymity may be allowing this unfairness, abuse and bullying to exist throughout social media, over time, our global intention and sense of fairness will find a way to expose those who deserve to be exposed because they are doing nothing to increase the opportunity of others to live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.