Are You Jumping on the Judgement Bandwagon?


Are You Jumping on the Judgement Bandwagon?

Naming and shaming; it’s become the social media equivalent of getting out the torches and pitchforks.

The very thought of which, is enough to strike fear into the hearts of anyone, especially Small Business owners.

Mistakes happen, a lot. I can tell you that because I’ve made them and more often than not they’re costly in more ways than one.

So when I saw an Instagram post by a prominent Australian, highlighting and mocking an enormously costly spelling error on the front cover of a small local magazine, I saw red. Maybe it’s because I care deeply about what I do.

I myself put thousands of words out into a public forum every week, and sometimes there’s a typo or a grammatical error. This particular post insinuated that the person responsible should have cared more, should have known better.

After all, that’s what they’re paid the big bucks for. Right?

A good percentage of the comments that followed were in the same vein; unapologetically mean, crucifying the nameless, faceless ‘them’ from behind a keyboard. The ‘them’ who I no doubt believe would have been mortified the very second that magazine went to print and the mistake was picked up.

But who named us judge, jury and executioner?

Then again, maybe it’s because in the same week I saw not one, but two, Facebook pages go live, each essentially an evil parody of an existing business. Both born because the creators felt hard done by these businesses and their owners, and each asking for followers to jump on the bandwagon of hate.

One hadn’t received a parcel, and despite the many positive reviews from previous transactions, refused to believe the issue could have happened during delivery. The other was unhappy with the quality of the item received. And the snowball started to roll.

What really struck me as amazing, was that at least one of these hate campaigns was instigated by a fellow Small Business owner.

Worse, it was shared on a Facebook page dedicated to Aussie women in business. It was picked up by more Small Business owners, and I watched the snowball grow and grow, until it all but flattened the original business.

Small Business owners who should have got it; who should have understood that sometimes things happen. You do your best, but you can’t please everyone. But there was no empathy or even the slightest hint of regret. No thoughts of the family that worked tirelessly to put a roof over their head or food on the table; just cries of “They got what was coming to them”, as if ‘they’ had deliberately set out to deceive and to anger.

Let it go.

I’ll be the first one to tell you if someone wrongs you in your business, you need to fight; but not like this. It’s time to give up the public business executions. The name and shame and jumping on the judgement bandwagon. It’s time to let it go.

Because it’s not just hurting them, it’s hurting you. It’s inviting negative energy and anger into a place where you should be focusing on growth. Not to mention, to the wider community, it just makes you look petty.

So next time you feel the need to name and shame or judge or share a negative opinion, remember this:

“Behind every magazine cover, every article, every Small Business are real people.”

Real people who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes. Real people who have families to feed and bills to pay, and who have very real feelings. And one day, that real person could be you.

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  • Paul Webster

    Great message Lee. I’m so tired of listening to people judging, moaning and criticizing it puts me off being on Social Media altogether.

  • Linda

    Love this one Lee. Having been on the receiving end of media madness I realised that we are quick to surrender our analytical mind and go into the primitive herd response of ‘attack’. We forget to ask the questions that reveal what is really going on. I was devastated to think that the ‘crazy’ would impact the 14 other people involved in my business that rely on me for their livelihood. Thankfully this didn’t happen but the potential collateral damage when people go on a mindless rampage is very, very real. Finger pointing to distract from the times we ourselves has failed is simply thoughtless. Can we champion small business more often? I definitely think so.

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