Time And Talent: Two Elements You Might Be Throwing Away On Social Media

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“You’ve become a lurker on social media,” said my friend to me the other day. She noted that though I had seemingly taken a backseat on making posts of my own on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, I had remained somehow abreast of all the local chatter that was occurring on these channels. She had got it right: while I still consider myself to be active on Twitter and other platforms, I find that unless I think I can contribute something that’s positive or of value to an ongoing conversation around a particular topic, then I simply don’t post.


This is a paradigm that I really, really, really, wish more of my peers on Twitter (and other public channels) would take to heart as well- it’s been a pain to be subject to posts that are essentially irrelevant or incorrect “takes” on a particular matter, or be privy to users who seem to incessantly complain, and are eager to have their brand of negativity imprinted on everything and anything. While every social media guidebook out there urges us to think carefully before we post anything (in fact, UAE telco du initiated a #PostWisely campaign just to promote this rationale), this particular mindset seems to have been overlooked by many of my fellow users of social media- they seem to have gotten rather comfortable with shooting off their mouths on such platforms, much like certain heads of state.

Be it with nonsensical assertions or statements (which either have zero basis in fact or reality, or are just a one-dimensional, self-promotional view on things), or random what-about ism arguments (one response to the launch of a social enterprise incubator in Dubai was essentially, “What about Yemen?”), this inclination toward showcasing the basest of behaviors by some people on social media is proving to be rather disquieting and disconcerting for me- and many others as well.

So, why does all this matter? The obvious point to remember here is that people are watching what you say on these platforms- and while one can make the argument that social media personas cannot be seen as complete reflections of one’s real personalities, it’s also hard to dissociate the two. (I, for one, can confirm that I have, in my mind at least, already blacklisted a few entrepreneurs -and the enterprises that they lead- owing to the many outlandish or outrageous statements they have made on social media.)

Of course, the sad thing about all this bad behavior on social media is that most of it –if not all of it- could have easily been avoided. Was that diss against someone (or something) really necessary on a public platform- couldn’t you have made your displeasure known through an email or a call instead? Or maybe you’re launching a new venture in a particular sector, and you want the eyes of the world on it- but do you have to do that by disregarding (read as “disrespecting”) the work of others already in that realm?

And yes, there may be things out there that aren’t in line with your vision of (and for) the world: instead of proclaiming your lack of interest in it, well, here’s an idea, how about maybe not tweeting about it at all? Basically, use the time you spend negating everyone else’s projects and initiatives working on your personal enterprises and endeavors. I am confident that this would be a much better use of your time and talent- and hey, it’d make the social media realm a much better one for the rest of us as well.

Related: No Time Like The Present (To Become An Entrepreneur In The Middle East)