What Does your Online Voice Sound Like?

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What does your Online Voice Sound Like?

In the not too distant past the web was an online realm separate from the real world, a place where people could hide in anonymity. Today the separation between the online world and the real world has become blurred, in fact I would say for many of us there is no difference any longer, they are one, our online world has fully integrated with our daily lives. I grew up online in the era of BBS’s where you never knew who you were interacting with and everyone used an alias. Today the vast majority of social network users are engaging online with their real names, and profile pictures.

What are you contributing to the web?

With Social Networking giving everyone the opportunity to engage and contribute online, you have to ask yourself “what am I contributing to the web?” Have you even considered what your online voice sounds like? Is it different than your offline voice?

Is there integrity in your voice? Are you offering advice and encouragement? Do you set out to inspire and motivate, or are you a negative voice that vents your real world frustration and offers nothing to the web? Just spend a few minutes reading your average You Tube comment thread, and you’ll know what I mean. It seems people love to express their displeasure and frustrations online creating a hostile and negative environment. These few thoughts above are legitimate questions that you need to ask yourself and consider. Some people may feel that I’m being overtly analytical, but when you spend as much time as I do online you get to know people that you don’t interact with outside of the online world. Everyone has a personality that they are sharing.

Perhaps you are a blogger? Or, consider your tweets, or your facebook status updates. Consider the content of the images you share on flickr, or tumblr. Consider the comments you share on websites and blogs. These various components are your online presence and they make up the way people see you online. You’re influencing others whether you know it or not.

Be Intentional about Being Positive

If you still think you can remain anonymous on the web, think again. Every time you say or post something you’re leaving your mark. It’s often tempting to leave a sarcastic or demeaning comment to someone who irks you, but keep in mind people are developing an idea of who you are. For myself, I came online determined to be a bright light, a positive voice, to offer encouragement, and advice. I leave my sarcasm, and frustrations elsewhere. Too many think they can use the web to troll around and vent their anger, their ignorance, their mad at the world attitude, and it leaves a trail of negativity behind them. The very worst of these types of people still hide behind an alias. For many who have undertaken the goal of blogging, you need to be conscious of your influence. Bloggers are leaders who have a strong ability to express their opinions and be heard (Read more about my thoughts on this and why YOU should be blogging, here). If part of your goal is to be successful online then you need to be working on your online persona today! Decide to be a positive voice on the web.

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Raised just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. I am a huge fan of social media. A married father of two, I am intrigued by all things security related, and am exploring my potential by blogging. I aim to contribute a positive and encouraging message to the web.
  • Hi Daniel

    Saw you had guest posted so came to check out your post. I really like how you state you are intentionally positive on-line.

    I get put off a site if I visit and there is any nastiness going on. Don’t like it off-line so why would I stay on a blog that vents anger and negativity??!!

    How I am on my blog is how I would treat you off-line too. I believe that visitors to a site can be discerning and will soon suss out any unreal or negative behaviour.

    Great post and I’m glad I took the time to come check it out.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • @Patricia … hey good to see you over here! People are going to be more attracted to that which is positive, so if you want to have influence online – that’s the way its got to be! :-) thanks for your feedback.

  • It’s amazing how some incredibly nasty people can be on the Internet. And more often than not, in a way they never would think about talking irl. Your article is a good reminder to the rest of us that our words have an influence and thus we have a responsibility. That said, I think it’s perfectly fine to be critical and even bitingly satirical, as long as you’ve thought about the consequences and aren’t hiding behind anonymity.

  • Theeventof

    Hey Daniel the online voice is certainly an important one to consider. I think for some reason our filter for things we shouldn’t say doesn’t work so well when we speak through our fingers on a keyboard behind a monitor.

    Even though it seems isolated and anonymous coming from behind our computer we do leave a mark and we can still be identified. I would like to applaud your continued efforts to bring positive and useful information to the web!

  • Daniel:

    Great post! Alongside with intentionally positive, I think transparency is a key performance indicator. Tell the truth, show what your about. Be what you preach.

  • This is a good article for all bloggers and businesses to look into. One has to make sure they are not saying too much and watch how they say it.