In times of everyone-says-your-opinion-about-everything on the Internet, I thought it would be opportune to share with you some insights on how to make (and receive!) constructive criticism in the digital environment. It is with them that we grow and contribute to each other’s growth. But are we handling this the right way?
Over these years creating online content I’ve been through several different situations, good and bad, but one thing I think is important to highlight (or pull the ear) right away: people need to remember that there is someone else on the other side reading comments . If it’s a criticism you would never do in person, in someone’s face, don’t do it publicly in an internet comment.
And another: constructive criticism, by definition, is criticism that can lead the other to improvement. Therefore, it makes no sense to criticize something that is beyond your interlocutor’s control. Something like, for example, “you don’t have the proper voice to make videos on the internet.” What will the person build with this information? Insecurity, only if it is!
This does not mean, of course, that you should shut up if you feel like punctuating a comment. But there is a golden rule that you should always keep in mind: Praise in public, but always criticize privately. If you really want to help with your criticism, then there’s no point calling the problem to other people’s attention.
Done in private with respect, the review will be well received 90% of the time. And if not, the problem is on the other side, in the person who does not know how to value an observation that can add value to their work. I’m so grateful for followers who always (seriously, always!) let me know in private, on Instagram , when I miss a mistake in my blog posts. They are the best people!
In addition to helping to improve your work, receiving criticism well also demonstrates that you are a humble person, who values ??the opinion of those who accompany you. Whether that person is your mother, a co-worker or an internet stranger. Showing that you are human, also make mistakes and value helping can get you very close to people.
And, when you happen to receive criticism that is not constructive (believe me, it will happen), the way is to let it go. Not letting yourself down and not cultivating anger towards the other are fundamental for taking life in a lighter way. Most people are not “internet haters”, they are just insensitive and disconnected about the reality of others.
In addition to receiving criticism well, it is important to be open to help. Despite making my mistakes here and there, I usually have a very good eye for finding mistakes in texts in general. It’s a gift and a curse! Haha ha! Double spacing, so it looks like it jumps out at me!
I always let the author know when I encounter little problems like this. After all, if I were in your place, I would like to be told. Good people, who value the quality of their work, are always very grateful for the help. And building a network of people who help each other, who feel open to making comments and suggestions, can help a lot in their growth.
Of course, technical criticisms, such as mistakes in Portuguese, are much easier to make and receive. It is more difficult to weave a delicate criticism, about a personality trait or a professional attitude, for example. In this case, it is necessary to go back to the first step and reflect on whether this criticism will really add or whether it will only generate insecurity. Is it something she can improve on, in fact? If so, I’d rather be the person who talks and tries to help than the person who omits and sees the other make the same mistakes over and over again.
And, of course, fleeing like the devil from the cross of public displays. We have an almost innate attraction to seeing people we know involved in fights or controversies. It’s true for the Globe actress who has her life exposed, but it’s also true for the content creator or coach who has her phrases ridiculed by “internet inspectors”.
In fact, the whole idea for this piece came when I saw a journalist I admire being publicly criticized on a twitter profile dedicated just to that, exposing people who make mistakes on the internet. She really made a mistake, made an inopportune video, but was “public messing up” the best way to score that? Or to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistake again? Of course not.
Remembering that people are human, no matter how famous or distant they seem, is the only way to constructively and respectfully weave criticism. And, let’s be fair, that’s the only way these criticisms will be taken into account.
Finally, I would like to remind you that just as criticism is welcome, praise is also welcome. The internet would be a much more welcoming environment if people took the trouble to comment whenever they like or feel inspired by a text, a video or a recommendation. Anyone who works with this knows the value that a good compliment can have to motivate someone, and I absolutely insist on motivating those I see doing good and courageous work on the internet.
Make no mistake: creating content in an environment that has profiles dedicated only to exposing others’ mistakes, believe me, it’s a brave act. Around here, you won’t find anything but support. Perhaps the occasional constructive criticism.