Tend Towards The Negative

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Was this a form of online bullying?

Last week LinkedIn’s senior editor, John C. Abell, had penned a piece about Apple’s announcement of the Apple Watch. I thought Mr. Abell had done a great job describing the new offering and sharing a bit of his own excitement in this new direction Apple was taking. Heck he got me more excited about potentially buying one than Apple’s official announcement even had. For me, his piece worked.

Then I did something I never do.

I started reading the comments down below his post.

The more I read, the more upset and angry I found myself getting.

Comment after comment was bashing Apple, their “entitled audacity” in creating such a “gimmicky product”. Even the author himself for being a “fan boy” of this new product offering and more so, Apple itself. Some comments were clearly posted by the obtuse but most comments were just plain mean. The level of bitterness and smart-assness (I made that up) that people felt okay in posting surprised and shocked me.

I had to say something. So I did, I was just tired of what I felt was online bullying.

Haters are going to hate, we all know that. Also, I know it’s unwise to pick a fight with the bullies that are as prevalent in the online world as they are on the school playground but I didn’t care. I fully expected some backlash and yes, I did get some, but not what I expected. I found far more people offering comments in support of my stand. The “way to go” “the “thanks for saying what I was thinking” comments I got in emails and in my message box on LinkedIn did have me feeling a bit like Jerry MaGuire when he wrote his manifesto “The Things We Think and Do Not Say.”

Now to be clear I didn’t start off to take a stand, but that’s what I guess I did. I simply couldn’t take the b.s. comments of the morally bankrupt any longer. Being mean is not alright. As I reminded one of the haters who chose to take the discussion offline but still wanted to have it, his comments were forever linked to his profile on LinkedIn. Whether he realized it or not, his sarcastic put downs of a major company and what appears to be a top guy at LinkedIn might have a future human resource director or a recruiter rethinking why he might be a fit for a job opening. He hadn’t thought of that and appreciated my pointing it out. He removed his comment exactly five minutes after we got off the phone.

When we tend towards the negative, nothing good can come from it. Not online, not at the water cooler at work, not even at the kitchen tables in our homes as we sit down to have a meal and conversation with our families.  Tending towards the negative in today’s world only works against us and isn’t there enough obstacles in our lives and careers doing that already? Best to steer far away from oncoming doom of our own making and in this case, simply not buy a product that doesn’t interest you from a company you choose not to do business with. In the end, can’t the world live without your reasons as to why or why not the Apple Watch will be on your wrist in 2015. You bet it can.

I am not perfect. Clearly I’ve made my own missteps along the social networking highway. My own snarky comments about this or that has manifested in ways I am sure that weren’t positive. There’s as big a Ripple Effect when we do or say something negative. As there is when we do something positive. But I’ve learned from that experience and try as hard as I can to not be “that guy.” No matter how funny in the moment I think my astute comment or observation might be, in the end it probably only serves my ego to share it. And the ego doesn’t need any more collateral damage from my own stupidity.

ICYMI: Change Starts At the Top

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Showing 4 comments
  • AnnOhio

    Negative…attracts negative. Thanks for stopping the cycle, f only for one post for one minute. The positive people brigade needs all the help we can get. 🙂

  • Marc Miller

    Some of my blog posts get syndicated onto websites like Monster.com, Yahoo Small Business, and other equivalents. Many of the comments are just flat mean. Oh by the way, they are usually anonymous. I cannot read them which prevents my stomach from churning. Unfortunately, this behavior is a creation of the Internet.

  • Steve

    Thanks for comments Ann and Marc.

    Ann, I’m doing my best.

    Marc, easy to be mean when you are anonymous isn’t it. I feel sorry for those people who have nothing better than to criticize from the dark crevices of the Internet.

  • Pete foley

    Excellent blog, Steve. “Thoughts become things … choose the good ones” is my personal credo and it’s critically important to steer away from negative thoughts because they will yield negative outcomes. It’s not always easy to do but reminders like yours help the process. Ripple on, Dude.

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