Last week, I made a mistake. Maybe it was a lack of sleep combined with a glass of scotch. I dunno, but I did something I promised myself I’d never do. I replied to a LinkedIN post about something political. I got an almost immediate response. Here’s what it was NOT… kind, reasoned, open to discussion. It made me angry, but not enough that I would change my opinions. Odd thing… I had simply asked a question. (I have this gift of being able to roast certain peoples’ sacred cows, I guess.) I took a deep breath… and then… I went back and deleted my post.
Here’s what I learned/remembered/realized…
- A political rant has never changed an opposing opinion – especially on LinkedIN.
- People who do this, if anything, you are pushing those who might not have formed an opinion AWAY from your position.
- My mother said, “Don’t talk about sex, religion, or politics at work.” Guess what!?! LinkedIN is work!
- People who do these posts, left or right, are really angry.
- People who spend hours on LinkedIN expressing their political views have an addiction. Get out of your dimly lit basement, people! You’re suffering from low level depression. You need some vitamin D!
- If I were one of the “bad guys”, what you’re posting out there makes you such an easy target for spear-fishing & physical attacks. Wise up!
If you’re that passionate about your political views, then do things that will actually make a difference! It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you sit. Here’s some ideas…
- Participate in your political party.
- You want to annoy those who aren’t listening to you? Become a precinct delegate.
- What!?! You don’t even know what a precinct delegate is? Google is your friend! (Hint: Believe it or not, a good precinct delegate is a source of where real power begins in our current system of politics.)
- Don’t have one? Run for office.
- Not for you? Get involved in someone’s campaign, even if it’s for dog catcher.
Those options seem a little extreme?
- Invite a neighbor for coffee & talk about things. But please, learn to persuade. Take a class on public speaking. If they don’t want to come back, you can’t persuade what you can’t see.
- A rant might make you feel better about yourself, but really, this isn’t about YOU!
- Or make it a barbeque. (Good BBQ could sway me to just agree to just about anything, at least for a little bit.)
- Start a neighborhood watch program.
- Sit on the front steps and politely wave to your neighbors as they walk or jog by. Better yet, say ‘hi’. Even better, introduce yourself!
- Put in the effort to know your neighbors and learn & respect their views.
- Have face to face conversations. I know, I know. In the real world, flesh & blood relationships are scary. But they’re darned well worth the trouble.
But don’t, for the love of all things holy, post your political rants on LinkedIn!
And the bottom line? If you do 3 or more of the things above, when your funeral inevitably comes, a lot of people will actual miss you and care that you’re gone. And along the way, you’ll be a lot more happy!