If you are telling other people what to post or not to post on social media: Knock it off!!!

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I was spending a good amount of time this weekend looking for deals for our 2019 family vacation. I have about 50,000 miles coming on American Airlines and I’m determined to use them in the most efficient way! I recently used 70,000 Delta miles to book myself first class to a Washington Redskins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers game! So, let’s spread the love here. Total cash value = $1,000!

We decided that summers are just too busy for family trips so we are looking to go somewhere warm once a year during spring break. So I priced the following for four:

  • Aruba
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico

I didn’t find any perfect prices. It also didn’t help that I had the wrong dates for spring break at first. I looked at the Google Flights Explore Map:

Cancun looked good price-wise so I looked at that further. I’ve also never been to Mexico, so that sounds like a good idea to me.

Then I took the roundtrip fare cost and started booking:

  • Round trip for me with cash (that helps with status)
  • Book my wife and two kids on award tickets either round trip or one-way and then book another one-way with cash for them.

Just be sure we are all on the same flights! 🙂 Afterall, it looks like I can save about $600 in airfare, not bad!

I was getting ready to tweet and Facebook that accomplishment and remembered that 2-4 people complained about the perceived volume of travel diary stories on here. But,

  • they are few in the overall mix
  • they are my stories and that’s what I share on here

And 2-4 people vs. tends of thousands of readers a month! Let’s not overthink feedback and overreact!

So let’s dive into what I earlier drafted on people – especially people who don’t even participate in storytelling – picking on other people’s posts:

No. 1: Why social media employee advocacy programs don’t work

Stage 1:

Executives: “I want employees to share things on social media.”

Stage 2:

They do.

Stage 3:

That same executive: “I don’t like their authenticity. Please make it stop.”

To make social media work, be real, consistent, share value for the audience and don’t take everything so serious. It can pay off big for all.

Push through stage 3 and keep going.


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No. 2: Emotions run high on social media from time to time, maybe all the time.

To name a few topics:

  • Politics
  • Super Bowl and other sporting events
  • Does ketchup go in the fridge or pantry?
  • Why would they say that? Fire them. Now!
  • The list goes on and people add things to it all the time. Who knew ketchup storage was worth debating?
  • Trump!

There’s no shortage of opinions, fighting over trivial things and even fake news (aka lies) on social media. And then you have the apparent rule enforcers who tell everyone else what to post and not post. Meanwhile, for some of them, that’s all they post. Some only post to tell others what to do or when they want to digitally lynch them.

Those posts often look like this:

  • Stop posting about politics.
  • Stop posting about sports.
  • Stop posting about ketchup.
  • Stop posting about whatever.

All I can say is: Stop the telling-people-to-stop madness. Just unfollow, unfriend and sometimes block people. It’s so easy to not hear other viewpoints, it’s actually kind of scary.

For myself, I listen to many sides of many different debates. Sometimes I share my own opinions and stories. Sometimes I don’t. Bottom line is that it’s my choice. Kind of like it’s other people’s choice whether they read it, agree with it or even share it.

Related: How I decide when to block somebody on social media 

I want to keep up on so many different things, I probably have way too many notifications turned on on social media, but I want to hear what’s going on – whether I agree is irrelevant. Yes, some things are annoying to me, too. Some I wildly disagree with. But that’s life. Let’s deal with it.

As a reminder, the pillars of authentic storytelling are:

  • Live and tell your authentic stories.
  • Be accepting of other people’s stories (as long as they don’t illegally impact you, for example. Disagreement or not understanding doesn’t fit here.)

I’ve actually seen that people telling people to stop sharing discourages the advancement of people sharing their stories overall. See, I almost didn’t share my points story!

It’s like these demanding people are putting others into their place, and some people take it. Ugh, I don’t want to deal with these naysayers all the time. You can block them, by the way, if they keep pestering. Civilly-presented opposing opinions are okay, in my opinion.

So instead of focusing on telling other people what to do or not to do, focus on our own actions and ability to share better stories. And don’t forget to consider other people’s thoughts and opinions – even if you end up disagreeing.

This was first posted in 2017, early 2018 and updated in late May 2018.

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