I ran across this quote the other day on Twitter: “What you think of me is none of my business.” ~Larry Winget

This is interesting to consider in a world that seems to require our opinions and feedback everywhere. Whether we’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or blogs, people are asking, “What do YOU think?”

Do we feel obligated to share? Or are we relieved that someone finally wants to know our opinions? Is all of this sharing for our benefit, or the benefit of those we’re talking about?

A few years ago I wrote a brief post about “mindful speech.” The quote I shared in that post stated that “To be mindful, speech must be true, timely, useful, and said gently and with compassion.” How much of what we’re adding to the conversation is actually mindful? How much of it needs to be said?

Sometimes I think we protect ourselves from speech that is NOT mindful by thinking what Larry Winget said: it’s none of my business. “You’re entitled to your own opinion,” we’ll say. The truth is that we feel that it is our business. We want those thumbs-up, “likes” from friends and family. Many of us are in the business of maximizing those approvals, trying to provide products and services that earn positive reviews. In some situations, it quite literally IS our business what others think of us. Our jobs depend on it.

Do you feel more encouraged to share your opinions online? Do you think people take your opinion seriously? Are people mostly being mindful when they talk, or are they just saying what comes to mind in the moment and not concerned about being compassionate or gentle? What do YOU think?