Brand Judgment Day

Racist chantBy Gerard Braud

Judgment day in the Biblical sense is the Godly determination of your fate at the end of time.

We’ve been taught that we do not know the hour or the day of our death or judgment.

But in the world of your brand, your products, and your services, we do know the day and we do know the hour. In fact, we know the minute.

The time is now. Social media and the throngs of participants on social media could be described as the most judgmental slice of humanity that civilization has ever seen.

Last week I watched two national stories unfold that led to a lot of online judgement. The first was the story about the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing a song filled with racial slurs. The second story babyswaddled in american flagwas about a photographer who posted a picture of a baby swaddled in an American flag.

[My goal is to interview both the fraternity brothers and the photographer to learn more about their experiences of being judged so harshly and so quickly. If you can introduce me to any of these folks, please call me.]

Swift social media judgment is a rather interesting phenomenon, considering the societal emphasis placed on political correctness. The political correctness movement had its roots in the 1990s.

When you think about it, an entire generation of young people have been taught that a person should not be judged by the color of their skin, or their ethnic background, or their religion. From there it grew into not criticizing someone because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Perhaps an unintentional consequence of the political correctness movement is that many people feel compelled to correct everyone else’s speech or behavior. Essentially, people anointed themselves as the police of appropriateness. Individuals became self-ordained. Many attempt to shame the rest of the world into adhering only to thinking as they do and approving only what they approve.

So would this also be true? Would it be true that as the political correctness movement spreads, parents, teachers, and well-intentioned folks enable a new breed of judgment that replaced the kind of judgment they were actually fighting against? Did they endorse and encourage judgment? And was the new judgment harsh?

For a large segment of the population, every day is the day they judge everyone around them. Hence, everyday is judgment day.

About this same time political correctness judgment took hold, talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh began their own breed of judgment. This opened the floodgates of copycat radio shows, which made many older adults also increase their level of harsh judgment and verbal criticism.

As this age of judgment was born, unto everyone was also born the Internet, social media, and technology.

Blogging and anonymous comments on blogs represented phase one of judgment. Phase two of judgment began when media news websites opened their doors to anonymous comments. Then phase three emerged with the birth of Facebook and Twitter.

Specifically to Facebook and Twitter, what could be a platform for sharing joy and goodness has become the trolling grounds for those who judge, hate and comment negatively with gusto. Social media can be a real hellhole for your brand.

The truth is, we all judge and pass judgment with every thought. You have thoughts about the products you buy, services you contract for, people you encounter at work, etc. You also have thoughts about every person you see. Your mind creates a near immediate impression as to whether you initially like someone or not. Your judgment on that may change within moments. You make judgments based on what a person is wearing, their body type, their ethnic background, and what they say.

You are in judgment of others, regardless of whether you have pleasant thoughts about a person or negative thoughts.

But do you verbalize every conceivable thought you have or have you been taught the art of self-control?

Many of us were taught the adage, “If you can’t say something nice about somebody, then don’t say anything at all.”

The political correctness age shifted that to, “If someone says something that is not nice about someone you should correct him or her and put them in their place.”

That is called judging those who judge.

This has all morphed into a self-ordained right to comment on social media about everything in society. I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.


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