F-bombs and Negativity – How People Really Feel About It

Can negativity and profanity have a financial impact on your business?

I think it can, and in a big way.

Don’t think I’m just tossing out blame or judgement about profanity.  I am guilty myself.  In real life I use the occasional four-letter word and sometimes complain about silly things.

Profanity on Social MediaOnline however, I choose not to use language that is inappropriate and I am very conscious of making my presence positive and upbeat.

Maybe it is because in my life I have worked with some really negative people who drained my energy and I never want to subject others to that.

I recently asked business owners on my Facebook page how they feel about the use of negativity and profanity and the responses were overwhelmingly the same.

Don’t do it.

Most people will take deliberate action to keep you out of sight.  They will either hide your updates in their newsfeed or they will block/unfriend you.

I am all for being authentic. I believe that each person has a right to do what they want with their social media profiles.

How you present yourself is your choice.

But, please remember that we now live in a world where your online behavior impacts your professional “real” life in a very real way.

Whether you own a business, work for a company or are unemployed and looking for a job, every update you make leaves an impression and each impression allows others to form an opinion of the type of person you are.  This is fact.

sandra-qRecently, Sandra Yancey, Founder and CEO of eWomenNetwork, posed the same type of question on Facebook.  Ninety-one comments later, the consensus was pretty much the same.

The interesting thing was, shortly after, another woman I know who will remain nameless posted the f-bomb several times on her Facebook status and implied someone was complaining about profanity.  She basically said “if you don’t like it, un-friend me.”

As I said earlier, how you present yourself on social media is your choice. But keep in mind that how others perceive you is also your choice. You have the right to post whatever you want but constant complaints about life, throwing around f-bombs and just general unprofessionalism will ensure that other people are not rallying around to support you and your business.

In the words of Nicki Minaj “Just give us one minute of professionalism.”

Agree or disagree in the comments below. How do you feel about profanity and negativity on social media?

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8 Comments

  1. I think you are bang on about this. I would even go on to say to be attentive to the jokes and images you choose to share and post. I know they can mean nothing the same way a rant or swear could but for those glimpses on the fly as they go down people’s stream they can leave an impression.
    Though that impression is filtered by one’s own subjectivity, it is there nonetheless. For me personally when I see a free for all in a post that obviously denigrates there is a huge impact on me on how I see the commentators.

    • agree, the images you like and interact with show up as you. The sad but true thing is Social Media allows for snap shot impressions. While I don’t believe you should judge a person by the worst thing they ever did in life if they are otherwise a good person, it may be that these things are the ONLY impression you have.

  2. Hi Lisa, I wholeheartedly agree. There’s really no place for profanity in the professional world and while behind closed doors is one thing, you definitely don’t want to sling it all over social media. I say “behind closed doors” because I have a corporate background and I heard, unfortunately, plenty of profanity during those years. But not usually in a corporate meeting with outsiders or a company-wide meeting. I think that’s a different story because it’s a shared setting – a more public setting. So if you want to use profanity, use it in your private office, but avoid using it in public, in meetings, or in shared settings.

    • totally agree, I also think sometimes profanity in the right context can be funny and appropriate. Negativity however, is always draining. We choose our attitude on everything.

  3. Great post Lisa – I completely agree! F-bombs are not acceptable language for business online or off. I tell people they should be true to who they are, but put their best positive foot forward and not use social media (i.e. Facebook) as a support group. As you mention, people judge us based on the bits of what we choose to say and share.

    I also tell people it’s okay to be negative if you have a good reason (i.e. to get a customer service result) – but not just to vent. Save the f-bombs and venting for your close friends & family in private!

    • Agree. I think there is a balance. I do not believe we should live our lives always concerned about what others think of us, but I do think there is a certain level of discernment that should go into what you publicly share with the world. Sometimes people just seem to communicate with no filter or consideration for the impression they are making, and it is not a true reflection of who they are. It’s more emotional venting for the world to see.

  4. I say this all the time on a couple of my blogs. The words people use are what they end up being associated with, and many times, even if a client speaks a certain way, they don’t expect the professional they’re dealing with to use such language during business hours. And seeing it in social media… well, I’ve blocked few people for it, but I’ve definitely muted them to a strong degree because I just don’t want that stuff on my wall. In my way of thinking, if I leave it there it means I approve of it. The only problem is that things move so fast I know I don’t see it all. Nothing much to do about that.

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