This week in my town of Nashville TN, we made the national spotlight for a shooting. As I watched local and national news unfold this story, it became apparent, it is more important to report something than to report the facts. In another sad day for our country, the gunman was initially reported as a 51 year old white male with an assault rifle. Immediately social media, mainly Twitter and Facebook, lit up with vile comments about terrorism, gun control, extremism, ISIS, end of the world, etc. Hours later we learn it was a mentally ill 29 year old Hispanic descent male with a hatchet, pepper spray and a toy airsoft pistol that made sounds of a real gun. Thankfully, he didn’t hurt anyone badly and only he lost his life, thanks to the swift response of Nashville Metro police. How can media get things so wrong? As a business owner, we can’t afford to spew our opinions like the social media crew.
People take a story and form it into their own agenda. The truth just doesn’t matter anymore. When did we lose our integrity as a country? Being in the health and life insurance business for over 22 years, if I explained coverage to a client like the politicians explained ACA coverage or Obamacare, I would lose my license and pay huge fines. The media and our government can say anything and it is swept under the rug, even with video proof. I just don’t get it. Why is there no accountability anymore accept for business people?
There are people on Twitter and Facebook with an anonymous power to spew opinions, not truths, on every subject in the world with no consequences. You can no longer tell the satire sites from the “real” sites. As a business owner, you can ruin your reputation engaging with this nonsense, because crazy is right and truth is fiction. It appears Orson Wells was correct, just 30 years too early. Business owners now have to remain silent in order to continue to survive and thrive in the market place. I still believe that Abraham Lincoln said it best with “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”. Now the fools have a platform with social media, help us all.
“You can’t fix stupid” —Comedian Ron White
Image by Stuart Miles images at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 28 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.