Sometimes it is better to shut up

Last week we got (again) sensitive about things that were said in Twitterland. I’m not going to relive this, but there were two camps in the office: the one that said we need to respond, and the other said let it slide.

Since I was on the second party, you’ll understand why I’m not putting links or details here for future generations.

The thing with social media is that you can catch waves and ride them. It’s a risk since you can fall of the wave as well. But the question you need to ask yourself – is this a conversation I want to have? What do I gain, and what do I stand to lose? Remember there will be other conversations – is this the one you want to have?

In our case, (with reflection glasses on) we should have just shut up. When things fly through Twitter today, they are so transitional, and have a very short half-life. This kind of micro-storm has already gone, and by saying nothing, it would have disappeared even sooner, and we wouldn’t have paid the price.

What price? we spent discussions and re-discussing possible answers, and answers to our responses. It was a waste of time. And I’m not counting the heartache – because we were actually felt attacked and felt we couldn’t carry our point across. In hindsight, we could have saved ourselves time by not saying anything.

Of course there’s a chance you’re putting yourself outside the conversation. And you may discover that you should have entered before, and may have calmed things… but at the end – you really don’t know. It’s a gamble.

So to finish this off, in the immortal words of Kenny Rogers:

“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away, and when to run.”

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