Manners Matter: Speak Up Online … or Not?

Dear Mary Pat,

My friend and I differ on what we post on our business social-media accounts. I believe that you should take a stand for your beliefs and be as vocal as possible when you see something wrong or unjust. And I also think that as a business owner, I have a responsibility to share my thoughts with my customers. He says that he doesn’t want to share his opinions on his social sites, especially his business ones. I think he is being cowardly, but he says that more often than not, posts create division and rarely change people’s minds. I know I’m right. How do I persuade him to speak out online?


Speak Up

Dear Speak Up,

Your friend has chosen to run his business in a manner that he sees fit. It is not cowardly of him to not share his opinions online. I think it might make him wise. Have you seen more unity and more peace online in the last week? Or during the COVID-19 crisis? If you see something positive online that’s worth sharing, by all means, share it. If you think you’d like to post it on your business page, that is your right. 

My point is that a meme or a hashtag won’t necessarily win hearts or minds, especially if they are deliberately inflammatory (versus thought provoking). Some people want to peacefully protest; others want to post on social media; and others choose to be kind and treat people how they would like to be treated. Living by example speaks the loudest.

Good luck,

Mary Pat