Quick Triggers and Quick Responses
We live in an age where our ability to communicate and obtain information is immediate and almost instantaneous. Often the media has a story before it is a story. This creates a need for immediate gratification and a tendency to feel compelled to respond quickly. Almost immediately. While it might be incredibly gratifying to respond instantaneously to that email, social media troll, newsperson with a microphone, or text message, it might also be beneficial to take a step back and think about some considerations:
1. Often times text messages, emails, and social media trolling are sent to elicit a response. We live in a world where the responses are permanent and forever. Forensic experts can retrieve emails, messages, and posts, even after deletion. Always ask yourself, “is my response something I want to be forever stuck with?”
2. When we are stressed, angered, in trauma, or backed into corner, we don’t always think clearly and we certainly don’t always respond correctly. You should never respond to anything from a place of anger.
3. Responses should be thought out and not “knee jerk” in nature. The feeling of urgency is often an illusion. You have plenty of time to step back, think, and even ask for advice.
4. Our response is important. We want our message to be clear. We want our message to align with what we mean to say. We want to minimize ambiguity and potential liability from saying the wrong thing.
5. Lastly, sometimes it is ok to have someone else to speak for you. It is often the case that lawyers respond to the media instead of their clients. It shields you from saying or doing the wrong thing in a public light.
Sometimes the most effective response may be no response at all. Often, no response to an adverse comment or message, can have an incredible impact on t he other side. Regardless, before hitting “send,” you should always step back, think, and, on occasion, seek advice from your lawyer. The Borghardt Law Firm is always to share its advice and counsel.
Franz N. Borghardt