The Importance of Maintaining Emotional Intelligence via Social Media

Don’t Ruin Your Online Presence Due to Lack of Self-control

We all know that in this day and age, your online presence is your personal brand. One that needs to be managed in a manner that appeals to an employer. It is the first impression you will make and if it’s not looking so good, it might just be your last.

The content you post on social media reflects much about who you are and what you value. And yes, maybe, you’re not as cynical as perceived by your Twitter followers, which could be friends, families, previous employers, or other networks. Maybe Aunty Mae might be forgiving of that insensitive remark you made on Facebook, but think about Julie or Professor Zhang from college who might stumble on such content. Would they be ok with it?

We’ve probably all experienced threads on Facebook where someone is being called out for something, such as making an anti-Muslim comment or something along those lines. That uninformed post has the potential to sever a network connection. Which brings us to the importance of emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to process an emotional response in a logical manner. People who are emotionally intelligent are able to control urges and are skilled in “self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management.” Emotional intelligence is not only applicable to romantic relationships, it also benefits interpersonal communication within the workplace. The term has garnered traction on how it can be useful in work environments and for professional success.

Emotional Intelligence on Social Media

We love sharing content, from Instagrams of our morning coffee with captions complaining about the barista’s decaf screw up to Valentine’s Twitter posts proclaiming single lady status while hinting at loser exes. It is in our nature to communicate and connect. Emotional intelligence encourages a more thoughtful reaction rather than one that is emotionally charged.

For example, your supervisor dismisses your marketing proposal. Your initial emotional response might be feelings of anger or anxiety. What do you do? You feel a need to vent. You begin by typing up a storm on Twitter about the effort and long hours you put into this proposal, only to be rebuffed by an unappreciative supervisor. It’s normal to want to communicate, but doing so in a healthy and less damaging manner is important.

Avoid Social Media Faux Pas

  • Take a Step Back. Decide whether your reaction is a thoughtful one or one that is grounded in emotion. Remind yourself that actions have consequences.
  • Be rational. Think of a healthier alternative to posting a hasty comment that you might soon regret. Consider what emotion you’re experiencing and why you’re feeling this way.

With practice, you can train your brain to become more emotionally intelligent. In doing so, you’re developing healthy habits and becoming more empathetic–qualities that work to boost productivity within the workplace and ones that your networks would surely appreciate.