Social media users should think about impact of posts

Social media has become a platform where people can freely talk about things that they enjoy or have witnessed in their day-to-day lives. It's also become a network where people are more likely to share their political beliefs without any consideration of who they are and their audience. Some may say that it’s a form of free speech and people should be able to express whatever they want. But, there’s a difference between a person who has close friends or colleagues following them and someone who has an influence on any set of people as their following. People tend to get into heated debates online instead of keeping to themselves, which also causes an issue since no one should go out of their way to start arguments.

One thing that doesn’t seem to be brought up when thinking about a person’s social media presence is that even a simple tweet can influence someone’s opinion. Not necessarily saying that everything that is shared is being perceived in its entirety by every single person who reads it, but more so the fact that some people take little things said here and there and use it to form an opinion that they might not entirely agree with. Especially if the original poster is someone with a high status, such as verified accounts on social media and people who are in high positions in their line of work. Their followers might not think too much into what they say and how they are tied to any job, but that can’t be the case every time.

Next thing that happens is an employee who works for a highly respected company could be fired because someone who followed them took what they said and tied it to their position. Yes, an employee can separate their personal opinions from their line of work with a simple "all opinions are my own and do not reflect my business."

However, this doesn't excuse a person who goes out of their way to make others feel inferior. 

Discourse on social media ranges from little, insignificant and harmless topics to discussing topics that involve the lives of others. And, there's nothing wrong with standing up to what you believe in, yet it's become common for people to start discourse over something they themselves might not really know everything about. Of course, hate speech should not be let go, but there's a time to leave things alone. At the end of the day, it's not all worth it to have gotten into an argument with someone who is practically a stranger online. No one wants to hear someone’s opinion just because they claim they have a higher capacity of knowledge on the subject, especially since there isn’t anyone who knows 100% about everything. Sometimes, there are things that come up that haven’t been taken into consideration before. If there never would be a reason to go up to someone in public who is minding their business and not showing any sign of hate towards someone and just yell at them endlessly, then there isn’t a reason to do that to someone online who can easily be blocked, reported and left alone.

Opinions have a power that can be used for good or bad. There isn’t a way to tell another how to think or feel. However, there is a time and a place for things to be shared. There isn’t a way to just tell someone to take what is said as a harmless statement, especially when it can be seen by a wide, diverse range of people. There also isn’t a reason to make it a point to get involved in heavy discourse when neither side is in front of the other. It’s been said before. But, our actions are taken into consideration no matter what, meaning people should give careful thought to the words they post because the impact could be far greater than they intended.

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