7 Things to Never Do on Social Media if You are in the Horse Industry
Social media has changed the way people navigate their business, social, and personal lives. Social networking can be used for good or evil; the power is in the hands of the user. It is crucial to know how to use the platform in a constructive, helpful, and positive manner.
The horse industry is a “small world” already, and the internet makes it even smaller. From Facebook fights to rude instant messages, some people do not know how to conduct themselves via social media. Horse people are passionate, and often opinions clash. Here are some things to avoid when using Facebook, Instagram, etc.
People, not just horse people, tend only to post the good things that happen in their lives. This gives everyone else the false impression that everything is “perfect.” Life is not perfect — neither is the horse world. There are challenges, victories, and failures all beautifully wrapped together.
Therefore, do not compare horses, riding abilities, etc. with a person on the internet. Each exhibitor is unique and has a different background. Appreciate each experience as an individual, rather than what is “supposed to be.”
No one likes that person always complaining online for attention. The horse industry is challenging enough. Everyone experiences moments of anger, frustration, and irritation. Complaining about it does not help in most situations.
Displaying pride because of accomplishments is entirely different from overly bragging. An exhibitor can be proud of reaching milestones without coming across too over-the-top about it.
Excessive bragging is, unfortunately, too typical in the modern social media world. Each person makes things out to seem better than they are in reality. Keep this in mind next time a very lengthy “boast post” pops up.
Be aware of how others may perceive the post. The horse industry is hugely competitive, and success is a fantastic feeling and should be celebrated. However, on social media, words may come across differently to each person who views the post.
Every equestrian on social media has most likely witnessed at least one or two “internet showdowns.” These fights consist of everything from haters of certain classes to show clothing arguments. While some sit back with popcorn and scroll through the comments, others become involved in the brawl.
It is essential to know the difference between standing up for one’s self and starting a fight for entertainment. This is where each individual must think before posting. Here are some essential questions to ask yourself before becoming involved in an online argument:
What am I trying to accomplish?
How will my words affect the other party?
Who in my audience will this post reach?
For good or bad, what is said online is there forever. A strong reputation in the equine industry is built on honesty and integrity. Lying at all, and especially on a large online platform, will almost always lead to a negative outcome. Dishonesty is not easy to scroll past — people notice and remember.
Before constructing a comment, post, etc., make sure that the information is truthful. This means the facts are from a reliable source and are valid. Social media allows for information in the horse world to spread quickly, so make sure what is posted is nothing but the truth.
“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.” This common expression is one of the first lessons children learn. Yet, grown adults often cannot seem to follow this basic rule on the internet.
It is easy to scroll past, hit unfriend/unfollow, or hide posts. There are buttons made explicitly for the user to block certain content or people if desired. This then cuts off the channels for rude comments to come to fruition.
Another critical aspect of the internet in the horse industry is for an individual to show kindness to themselves. Constant posts of people putting themselves down are just a cry for attention and affirmation from an online platform. Keep in mind that looking for support and needing confirmation are two different entities.
Getting caught up in the “social media vortex”
A profile or account does not define people on social media. Each person is so much more than that. They are a human with emotions, dreams, and an actual life outside a screen. Living life does not happen on the internet; it instead occurs through experiences.
Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself to put the phone down, get your boots on, and go to the barn. Taking a step back or break from the world wide web is beneficial to everyone, no matter the age. A well-rounded equestrian is built on experience. The only way to develop a strong equine ability is to put the hours in the saddle.
Social media can be a virtual weapon. If it is misused, it can hurt people. Using the tools of the internet in a helpful, positive way is essential. The horse industry is all about reputation and word of mouth. How one uses social media can either make or break someone with one click of a “post” button. Be aware of what is typed, posted, and commented and think before sending it.