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Can’t We All Get Along?

Understanding what social media gets wrong, and right


I’ve written about many things covering our industry over the years; our successes, our challenges and even our failures.  Today, let’s talk about something that affects the industry, and our lives in general.  We’re not exactly going political here, (I don’t have the same confidence as Keith Daubmann to take on that kind of challenge) but I want to talk about how we’re using social media. 

An exponential rise in technology, including social media platforms, has undoubtedly been a blessing for productivity and output. Failing to use social media, including for business, can mean that you actually lose opportunity.

But the reality is that these platforms can be a double-edged sword, and one that divides us. For the most part, our industry is highly respectful of each other and I’m proud to be a part of a group working for the betterment of all, not individual interest. But it’s really important for us all to be aware of how these platforms can create feelings of entitlement and conflict.

Creating entitlement

In my own life, I’ve definitely had someone close to me feel entitled to my attention online. I didn’t “like” or “heart” or whatever it is I’m supposed to do on the internet, and a family member essentially said that meant I didn’t support them. 

This feeling of entitlement can also lead to people thinking that they’re better than others. If one has more likes/shares/followers, they think that they’re qualified, and others should hold their word as truth. It is crazy, no opinion is more valuable than any other, an opinion is simply opinion; when did we forget that? 

Ramping up divisions

Most of these platforms are also happy to split us into small groups, moving us further and further apart. Far too often now it becomes “if you don’t agree with me, you’re against me, and I must defend myself.”  Respectful debate appears to be a thing of the past; heck respect at all seems missing in most places.

Can’t we all get along? Differing views should be an asset, not a liability, in work and in life. Life is not what we show others through the internet; real life is connecting with people, doing something for someone else without an agenda.  Live to help others and you will be a happier person, I guarantee that.  Scrolling a façade of life will not bring it.

Unplugging from social media

In our professional, and personal, lives, we should really be careful about what we share on these platforms. There used to be a few things people didn’t discuss with others; religion, politics and money. Those are the three hottest items on social media platforms, and can help to increase dislike between people who disagree.

We’re so connected we also forget what it is like to shut it off. For a while I have been making sure I am awake at least 30 minutes before getting on my phone to check my email, which I found was not as easy as it sounds. I’ll sit outside (inside when it was colder), drink my coffee and listen to the real world waking up. I’ve found most days this lowers my stress level throughout the day. Give it a try, you may be surprised when you check out of the online world how much brighter the real world can be.    

People doing Instagram right

As usual, I want to highlight people who are doing social media right. My Instagram shoutout goes to #architectanddesign.  While it is not always glass it is nothing but architectural products. If you’re a lover of buildings, their feed showcases some of the most fascinating projects around the world many of which with unique glass products.


Pete deGorter headshot

Pete de Gorter

Pete de Gorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. He can be reached at