A while back , I posted something on Instagram that I thought was funny.
Apparently, it wasn’t.
Or at least, it was only funny to me and maybe a handful of my followers.
Others swooped in quickly, and made it a point that my post was offensive.
I had made a mistake. A big one.
I recognized it, but not until later. I think this may qualify as a “cancellation”. I had effectively been cancelled. For that post.
The post came down. But my embarrassment and shame did not.
I refrained from posting, from that day, and haven’t “stepped foot” inside Instagram since.
I knew, deep down inside, that I needed to apologize and make things right. But I was honestly just fearful of doing it. I was afraid of being judged and criticized again.
I knew, deep down inside, that I needed to apologize and make things right. But I was honestly just fearful of doing it. I was afraid of being judged and criticized again. Click To Tweet
That said, because I couldn’t shake off the feelings of guilt, I decided I needed to make up for my faux pas.
So I faced my fears on a different forum, and apologized to my followers through email.
Crafting a sincere message took me some time (a few days, to be exact), but in the final version I finally sent out, admitted my mistake and asked for forgiveness.
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To my surprise, I received a positive response across the board, getting emails expressing appreciation of my honesty and vulnerability.
I wonder, however, in hindsight, if the response would have been the same if I had issued an apology on Instagram itself.
The forgiving, supportive responses hadn’t come from strangers. They came from my already “warm” followers, there on my email list because they appreciated my work.
I haven’t had the courage to apologize on Instagram, to date. But I’ll tell you this: that I’ve learned a valuable lesson I hope to pass on here, in this anonymous article.
“I wonder, however, in hindsight, if the response would have been the same if I had issued an apology on Instagram itself.”
I realize making mistakes is a part of life, and that it’s okay to admit that.
It takes courage to apologize and make things right, but no one’s going to tell you how to do that. We define how to right our wrongs, at the end of the day.
I’ve also learned about my followers. They offer great support when I need it. They’re humans who make mistakes too.
This experience has been a humbling one that has taught me to be more mindful of my actions. I’m glad to be sharing it with you, because I know so many of my colleagues struggle with being on social media, as professionals
We all make mistakes. But we also use them as opportunities to grow..