Have you ever watched the movie The Labryinth, starring David Bowie and his very very tight pants, a very young Jennifer Connelly, and lots of muppets? Well, just in case you haven’t, I want to introduce you to a concept from the movie called the Bog of Eternal Stench. When you misbehave, you are sent down there, and if any part of your body gets into the stench, you will stink forever. Here’s a quick look (if you can’t see the video click
What is the online bog of stench?
Underlying everyone’s activity on online platforms, there is a great capacity for stinky behavior. It could be bullying. It could be gossip. Maybe spreading rumors or falsehoods. It could be sniping or snarking or trolling or spamming. Every time you engage with someone, you run the risk of slipping into this bog of stinkiness. Once you do, you will be forever known, at least by that person, as “that person who bullied me” or “that person who hurt my feelings.”
How do you avoid these stinky traps?
How can you avoid this Bog of Eternal Stench? In the movie The Labyrinth, there is a bridge (which collapses) and a series of rocks to run across. How can you make sure you don’t get into the bog of poor online behavior that lurks all around you?
• Make sure you treat everyone the way your specific relationship with them warrants. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. Not everyone understands your tonality in the same way. One size does not fit all.
• Weigh any potential gains of stinky behavior against what you could lose. Spreading a rumor may make you feel like you’re in a position of power, but what happens if you’re discovered as the source of that rumor?
• As we have discussed a lot lately, think first, submit later.
• Assume that your grandmother, your kid, your spouse, and your boss are reading everything you say.
• And make sure you can sleep at night.
Sometimes you can get pushed in
Remember, your content gains a life of its own online. Sometimes, someone can misquote you, take your words out of context, or outright lie about what you are up to. They can make you seem stinky even if you are not. Make sure that you keep your eyes and ears open, but also be aware that if you hear rumors that someone is mistreating you, go right to the source. Do not depend on other people to tell your nose who stinks. Flare those nostrils and find out for yourself. It could save a lot of valuable time, not to mention friendships.
Do you sense that there is a Bog of Eternal Stench lurking all around you? How do you avoid the slip-ups?
This is post 26 in the Engagement Series. If you feel like you have missed something, please head on over to the right side of this site and subscribe! Thank you!