Blog | Apr 26, 2011 | 8 Comments

[wise engagement]

[adapting a Buddhist idea for social media]

A dear friend recently told me about the Buddhist qualities of “skillful speech,” which are practiced at a local Buddhist center she attends. Later, it occurred to me that these would be very helpful guidelines for social media engagement.

Skillful speech is truthful, kind, necessary, and timely.

According to my friend:

Buddhists can and do spend hours, days, weeks, a lifetime investigating what each of these principles might and might not mean, and what effect the presence or absence of each has upon the efficacy of communication and quality of a relationship, in the present and into the future.

Imagine if we aspired to these goals every time we engaged with each other online.

How would Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and the blogosphere change? Interesting thought.

Photo credit: TheNatureofMind
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Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

8 Comments

Given the amount of time we spend in thought, I think this could just as easily apply to our internal dialog as well.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Tracy, good idea for somebody like me who has the problem Buddhist’s label as “monkey mind.” FYI, this idea came from Anna Strong.

[Reply]

Tracy

4/26/2011

Applying the Buddhist principles of “Right speech” to social networking would eliminate a lot of the self-promotional stuff, wouldn’t it? Thanks for this post, Claire.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

You’re right – marketing and advertising would certainly be more difficult if these principles were applied!

[Reply]

Anne Janzer

4/26/2011

I have the monkey mind(s) also. I know it very, very well. Since I’m year of the monkey, I used to provide that as an excuse, but it doesn’t seem to work anymore…

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

I’m year of the dog, so I guess I’m just chasing the monkey. I need to make it a goal to figure out how to stop the internal chatter.

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Gary Singh

4/28/2011

Thanks for sharing this with me, and of course I agree. I aspire to skillful or “right” speech generally in my social media spaces. Whenever I let other influences (such as worry) enter into the equation I can quickly find myself sharing content that isn’t as valuable to my audience.

I also maintain a personal pledge to not click on links to gossipy stories, or to share them, nor to use the latest scandal in a blog post hoping for more traffic.

The real trick is in balancing the need for profit with not selling our souls down the river because sad, but true, snark and gossip often win in the attention game. So how we do we compete in business in a very noisy space while maintaining our own integrity and well-being? Tough questions.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Jennifer, you have posed the most important question of all, because integrity is critical to our well-being and our success. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m inspired by your principles.

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