How to respond to a Facebook post in a way that would not get you into trouble
Too often, we read a Facebook post and automatically treat the post as if it is a direct communication with us. Like the person is reaching out to have a personal conversation. When we get sucked into this type of post we forget that we are talking to an audience or group of people and simply respond with an unfiltered answer. Did any thought go into that response you posted? Yes, but it’s most likely the response you would give if you were in a personal one-on-one conversation. Your answer might be different if you were standing in a group of people. Imagine the next time you respond to a Facebook post, that you are standing among a group of people.
Imagine that the group consists of the following people. Little Jimmy is 4 and is the human parrot, everything you say gets repeated, especially if he thinks it’s funny. Aunt Betty, who grew up in an era where women stayed at home and cleaned, cooked and took care of the kids. Father Ted, whose religious beliefs are his life and crusades to save the world. Your mother who thinks you can do no wrong, but will correct you every chance she can, no matter where you are or whom you’re with. Tiffany, the cutie, next door, who thinks you’re adorable, but you’re too shy to ask out. Your boss, who respects you and thinks you’ll be his replacement when he retires later next year. And lastly, the person you most admire, the person you inspire to be like.
Did you notice that the group didn’t have your spouse, significant other, or present relationship in the group? These people already have a perceived conception of you and your beliefs, so your response will be accepted, dismissed or just ignored by them.
Your audience is assembled, you have a visual and biographic picture of the group of people you’re standing around with; now imagine answering the Facebook question among these people.
When you have an audience present, your manner, comedy, language, vulgarity, and descriptions are filtered and you answer in a manner that is appropriate for the crowd. Words, concepts and images are expressed in a manner that is not offensive and highly conversational.
Learn to answer your Facebook responses as if you are standing in a mixed crowd of people, and you’ll have few image problems when it comes to responding to a Facebook posting.