(By Mike McVay) “Words are like bullets. You can’t take them back.” That’s a quote that’s attributed to a number of brilliant authors, business leaders and politicians. I don’t know who first said it to me, but it was said in regard to what’s said on-the-air. When I first heard it, there was no social media. Today, it definitely applies to social media, in-person, on-air and everywhere. We are what we post.
So many of us including myself, filter everything we do as to whether it works on social media or not. A friend and I once had a lunch, and didn’t take a picture of ourselves dining together, leading him to later post on-line “if you have a lunch and there’s no picture for social media … did you even see each other?”
What is concerning to me is that all too often a personality believes that who they are on-air isn’t who they are on social media. There is a belief that if you write in your bio “Opinions expressed are my own” it provides you with special dispensation to write anything you want. Which it doesn’t. The audience that follows you on social media likely listens to you on-air, on-stream or on a podcast. There’s a connection between the two.
You shouldn’t post on your socials in a way that’s distinctly different from who you are on-air. To do so is a signal that your “fake” and not genuine on one versus the other. Obviously, you can use language on social media that you cannot use on-air, but it does reveal something about yourself be it good or bad. The same goes for what social media you share from someone else. If you’re sharing it, you are endorsing it, and that too unveils a part of who you are when the microphone is off.
The other thing to remember is that once you post something, even if it’s for a moment and you delete it, odds are in favor of someone having taken a screen shot of it which they will in turn post and attribute it to you. That’s why you should pause for a moment before hitting “send.” Same goes for posting inappropriate pictures of yourself. People like me checkout job candidate’s social media when they’re under consideration. Once it’s out there … it’s out there.
There’s an adage in spoken word radio that “whoever controls the microphone has the last word.” That’s not true in social media. If someone feels that they can pull you into a social war, they will pepper you with negative or contrary comments, just to get a reaction out of you. Don’t take the bait from these trolls, unless you feel that to be non-responsive is an affirmation of what someone wrote about you. Social media trolls come out from under the bridge in the form of disgruntled people whose soul intent is to upset you. They want to provoke you into a fight and upset you or those who follow you.
No response is sometimes the best response.
Mike McVay is President of McVay Media and can be reached at [email protected]