Opinions on social media on sensitive subjects

Social media has taken over our lives and people have a platform to express themselves on all topics under the sun. Social media like everything else in life has its own positives and negatives. Social media has several benefits if used appropriately and with common sense. It can be nasty too with trolling, memes, abusive comments etc. One can also rub people off on the wrong side with strong opinions on sensitive topics. One thing that has been disturbing me off late is professionals and some of them holding leadership positions in corporate companies freely expressing their opinions and sharing content in favor of one political party and against some others. Other things that have disturbed me are opinions and content on religion, languages, caste, countries and many other sensitive topics. Some people go overboard and present a frequent social media dose of their strong views. These views are not to be mistaken for social causes like inequality, poverty, gender, crime etc. Caution has fallen by the wayside. It appears like a few people carry a badge of their opinions and affiliations on their chests always. This directly or indirectly has a bearing on the workplace and other relationships with friends and family.

What message does it pass to the co-workers? What about customers or business partners? What about family and friends? And what if the circle of people around the individual have a neutral or opposing view? Let me take some recent examples of some corporate leaders and professionals taking positions against a country or in favor of or against a political party / leader.  Most professionals today have international careers and are working with and leading people with diversity of citizenship, languages, religions and beliefs. How can co-workers, business partners and customers from that country or having an opposing or neutral political belief place their trust on these types of individuals? The counter argument to this could be that the professional is expressing himself or herself outside of workspace and the views are strictly personal. Of course, some professionals are mature and may not carry these biases and opinions to the workplace. My argument to this would be that the opinion is no longer personal once it’s stated on social media. The professional or leader has indicated a sense of bias and prejudice already and given space for people to look at them with suspicion . Almost everyone is on social media including co-workers, business partners and customers. They follow, see and read everything that the l professional writes. Trust and credibility in a leader and professional are of paramount importance. Why dilute this trust and credibility with the unnecessary free expression of views on sensitive topics? Why take public positions that can come back to bite you now and later? Is it right? Is it necessary?

As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

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