Are you old enough to remember the days before the advent of the Internet? If so, then you can also remember when negativity and complaining were not as pervasive nor had the impact that they have today. Sure, you might have mentioned to co-workers and friends that you were not happy about a certain situation, issue or person, but it usually just stopped right there. You certainly did not have an audience of thousands knowing how you felt almost before you finished speaking, as you do on social media.

Nowadays, we are apt to quickly judge and complain rather than compliment and encourage positivity. We tweet or comment based on impulse in order to feel immediately gratified without thinking of the consequences or the damage we may be doing to an individual or a company. A disagreement with someone does not always mean you are in the right. Being adamant about getting your point across and not considering the other person’s point of view is becoming more and more acceptable. Sometimes in life, you have to learn to agree to disagree and move on.

Many times we react to statements on social media that are not even true. People post things to create a stir, or to vent anger or frustration and which has nothing to do with the actual issue. Sometimes lies and falsehoods are posted simply because someone has an axe to grind and finds that disseminating lies are the best way to “get them.”

Where has common decency gone? Most of us have been taught to listen to other people’s point of view, come to a resolution and have respect for one another.

Is all this becoming passé? Does only our point of view matter? Are we lurking behind the anonymity of social media and spewing lies because who can catch us? Are we losing friendships or not doing business with people because they don’t agree with our personal views on a specific matter? Negative and hurtful things that people are saying and doing today have no consequences. Being mean is almost becoming the norm. We are no longer able to look past our differences and find our commonalities.

Protecting free speech is always important; however, must we constantly look for the bad and complain? As valuable as social media is for alerting us to bad or good situations, it is important to be diligent about promulgating and promoting items you see on it. Don’t jump to conclusions. Take everything you see – both negative and positive with about a pound of salt. Research, analyze and reflect on what you read, see things from all angles. Then if you absolutely must share something negative, at least you’ll know it’s the truth.

Complimenting or looking at the positive in someone or something takes less time and less energy than being negative. Knowing that you have let positivity into the universe makes you feel gratified and will most likely even help you sleep better at night. Feeling peaceful instead of revengeful is a healthier way to live your life. We all want to be heard and that is ok. There are so many things bringing us down and causing stress in our daily lives, why not try to bring people up and give them joy? Consider posting positive things and seeing the good in others. Keep in mind, what goes around, comes around.