Image by Blake Reed As someone who delivered more than his fair share of snarky, forceful contrarian opinion about people and brands in online conversations, I believe this behavior harms communities. Having alienated readers, friends and business interests alike with this behavior, I’ve made a concerted effort to change. But people don’t forget so easily, as a couple of commenters reminded me in response to this week’s Cathryn Sloane post. My conclusion: It takes a long time to amend “douchebaggery.”
I’ve been thing about writing and commenting online lately. Probably more than most, I have a history of mixing it up and leaving a comment or three that left heads spinning. In the past year, I’ve made a move to practice more loving (or benevolent) speech online. Choosing to invest in kinder speech, and to not leave a path of strife on the interwebs requires mindfulness and acceptance of my character defects. I don’t pull punches. When it comes to tough discussions, I fight to win. That means someone’s going to be upset most of the time.