The internet, and as automatically follows, text based communication is a vast wonderland of information, kitten pictures, and arguments. It’s changed the way we think, communicate, remember, research, and probably a dozen other thesis making words that I can’t think of right now. A great percentage of voice talent use it as a singular vehicle for their livelihood.
But I see many people in our community forget something very important when communicating online. They forget the humanity of the person they’ve read the words of. This can be on various topics, career related or otherwise, but the effect is the same. They assume, they forget, and they lash out and someone or something with words. Why is this so bad? Let me outline some thoughts for you:
1. What are others seeing reading your words?
Think about how you look when you post an angry rant about something. Whatever the topic or reason might be, think about what people might see and assume when they read that anger and make their own decisions based on it. Although it’s not as prevalent in voice over, hirers do look at social media, and this is only going to increase over time. People want to know who they are working with, and what kind of person they are. And even if it’s not a specific voice talent hirer, your colleagues are going to get a very specific kind of impression of you based on what and how you post.
2. Do unto others.
Regardless if they ‘deserve’ it or not, is ranting necessary? Is it kind? Could you regret it in the future? Whatever you believe, the golden rule is a wise one to follow. Whatever you disagree with someone about, they are a human being deserving of respect and kindness.
3. Beware assumptions!
Recently, I noticed a particular talent write a rant about another. They assigned a lot of feelings to that person, they called them some names and made a lot of suppositions about what they were intending, feeling, and doing. You don’t know what someone else is thinking or feeling? Do you truly know everything this person means with their words? Do you have the entire picture, for sure, with no doubt whatsoever? Could you be misinterpreting something?
If you really, truly need to say something, why not ask them what they mean? Why not ask about it? Find out for sure, avoid making a mistake, and behave with respect and reserve rather than rush in and end up looking like…well, something negative to be sure. 🙂 It’s easy to make a judgement and react on the basis of feelings, but take a pause, a deep breath, and avoid rushing to a potentially wrong conclusion.
Although there’s no guarantee that giving someone the benefit of the doubt, respect, and kindness will garner you any favors, or that it’s even deserved, it’s a good thing to practice. You’ll feel better about yourself, look better to others, and it’s just the right thing to do.