March 9 2021 09:14 AM

One negative comment does not negate all the positives of sharing our story.

The more you say or show, the more there is to be scrutinized. That is especially true nowadays with today’s technological advancements. Social media sites and user engagement combine for a powerful platform that can be a helpful — or hurtful — tool. In truth, every time I write a blog, part of me cringes with the idea that someone could misinterpret my words or portray them in a way they were not intended.

So why would I want to open my mouth or type on this keyboard? I believe that people are innately good. There are bad apples, but they are the minority. Fostering connections with others and telling our story is worth the risk of a naysayer. It is more important to be honest than to be quiet.

And yet, while the negative perspective is in the minority, it always seems to come across the loudest. You can get hundreds of “likes,” and yet just one negative comment can feel like it overwhelms all of the good. If you’ve shared insight into your life for others to see, you know what I mean. It is difficult to view criticism objectively.

The number of times I’ve reread and rewritten this blog trying to get it to express my thoughts is ironic considering the whole point I want to communicate is to just say it, just share it. Being vulnerable is being authentic. We can all agree that the world needs more real and less rehearsed. The most rewarding feedback you can receive is learning that you are not the only one. That solidarity can face any critic, any day.

Erin Massey

Erin Massey is the product development manager at Prairie Farms, a farmer-owned cooperative based in Edwardsville, Illinois. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the development process, from concept to commercialization. Erin grew up on a Florida dairy farm and has a deep-rooted passion to invigorate the dairy industry. Erin earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida. Her personal mantra is "Be Bold."