Venting on Social Networking Sites
By Sue Hulen
For some time now, I’ve been noticing artists/painters using social networking sites to vent about other artists and even businesses that supply artist’s tools and other supplies. First of all, I was amazed that anyone would do that and secondly I was shocked at the things that were said.
There is a saying that I’d heard many years ago that said “Be careful who you walk over on your way up…. you may need them on your way down.” Those words stuck with me because they’re so true. We need to be careful of the things we say about others. If there were a problem we would be doing ourselves a huge favor by keeping it to ourselves and not putting them in the spotlight of social networking sites.
By bad mouthing your fellow artists, suppliers or publishers you are doing yourself a real disservice. I’ve read some things said about others that just blew me away. Professionals should conduct themselves as such. So much harm can come from such indiscretions and lack of forethought. One person’s opinion of another may not be that of someone else. If there is another artist or someone else involved in the artists community that I may not care for there may be many who hold them in high esteem.
Let’s say I’m having a problem with an artist or someone who supplies what I use. If I were to speak badly of them on the Internet, especially social networking sites, it could harm their reputation and could affect their business in such a way that they could lose everything. That’s just not fair and it certainly isn’t an ethical thing to do.
I’ve actually seen things written in artist’s pages in social networking sites where they say some pretty negative and harmful things about a supplier. Unbelievable. The really unbelievable thing is that others would actually post negative things just because one person had a problem with someone else. Many people would comment on the post and take the side of the one posting such negative and unfair comments about another. They were like sheep following their shepherd…. one after another. LOL. What’s so despicable is that the one of the people they were speaking so badly about has a wonderful reputation, is hardworking, dependable, and does fantastic work on what he produces for them. He is one of the most honest gentlemen in the business. To think that his business and reputation could be damaged is truly disturbing, at best.
When you do such things you are actually being bullies and overbearing. To sit behind a keyboard, possibly in your jammies, and besmirch someone else is very telling. It seems a bit cowardly to me that someone would think that what he or she’ve done is ok. Amazing! What must you be telling yourselves that makes that mess acceptable?
We need to conduct ourselves as professionals. Possessing character and being ethical, as well as being very discreet, is vital. There are some things that should never be done nor said. Withholding our judgments of those we don’t like or have disagreements with is so important. To put all of our “stuff” out there is not only harming others, but harming us as well.
When we gossip, agree (publicly) about others in negative ways, put others down or intentionally try to harm them (financially or personally) we look bad. You learn more about the person talking than whom they’re talking about. You begin to look like troublemakers, gossips, unprofessional, petty, mean and lacking in character as well as being unethical. Pretty ugly stuff, huh?
We can harm others in irreparable ways just by saying one or two nasty things about them. And for those who post in agreement with them are just as bad. It makes you all look really mean. It’s not attractive.
Be very careful what you say on the social networking sites such as Face Book and other popular sites. Once you get a bad reputation for being a person who will paint someone in a bad light just because you have an unfavorable opinion of them, will come back to bite you. It won’t be long and people will start distancing themselves from you and some will not want to have a working relationship with you, either. You will have lost the trust of others as they would wonder if you would one day post something negative about them should you have a problem with them. Can you blame them for feeling that way?
Be someone of true character and keep the personal opinions away from the Internet. You will be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.
By the way…. some heartfelt apologies to those you’ve harmed or attempted to harm would be a nice step towards redemption. Think about it.