Once upon a time, I was noticing that my blog traffic was kind of going the opposite direction from where I wanted it to. I was feeling kinda frustrated, kinda down. Let’s face it, when you put a lot of work into a blog site, you hate to see your traffic numbers go down. At around the same time, I came upon some pictures of a person who had been really important to me who had passed away rather suddenly. The thought went through my head that I could write a post about that person and how that had all gone down. I knew that such a post would do well. As everyone states in the blogosphere, people dig the personal. But what would that really have been doing? I would have been using the death of a very real person to boost my traffic numbers for a day. I deleted my drafts and went in a completely different direction.
I needed to be able to sleep at night.
Your way may not be my way
I don’t like to talk a lot about “the right way” on my blog. You see, when I first came into the world of Social Media, I listened to all of the people who said stuff like, “The ten quickest ways to become the bestest blogger ever.” I read every blog post, responded to every tweet. It was my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But my blog numbers did not go up just because I did the things that other people recommended. I didn’t jump from 0 to 5,000 followers in five seconds after reading 3 blog posts. And I know that just because stuff works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.
This is even more true when it comes to decisions we make in the online world. For me, everything I do online is measured in one simple way.
Will I be able to sleep that night?
If you are sleeping well, no one can shake you
If you ask yourself this question – are you ending each day with a clear conscience – and you answer, “Yes, yes I am!” then no one can take that away from you. That’s your gut feeling. Your moral compass. Whatever you want to call it. If you do something that you feel is right, and you can sleep at night, it doesn’t matter if 17 people tell you that you did poorly by someone. If someone corners you and says that you acted inappropriately, you need to ask yourself, “Is that true? Will I be able to sleep tonight?”
The trick: Ask yourself this question before you act
It’s too late if you have already acted or reacted. It needs to be a gut check before you hit send, tweet, publish, or update. Once you’ve hit those buttons, your sleepy fate is sealed. If you write that post, will you be able to sleep at night? If you respond that way to that particular person’s tweets, will you be able to sleep at night?
There are plenty of people, at the end of the day, who will gladly pass judgment on you. As your head hits the pillow, there is only one person whose judgment you need to weigh, and that judge determines if your eyes will close.
Are you in touch with your moral compass as you navigate the online waters?
Image by Leandro Ercole. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/leoercole