#UgBlogWeek – Day 1: Criticism Vs. Trash Talking
My goal in life is to be rational, above all else. Money, promotions, marriage, children et al are great (I imagine, I literally wouldn’t know), but I am of the view that with the mess that emotions bring, it is inevitable to ruin all this. There is a chance that rationality could be the solution to world peace.
Have you ever listened to a song, and thought to yourself, ‘Wow, there’s time and data I’ll never get back in my life’? Only to find mostly positive reviews and songs of praise for the song on Twitter (online)? And you can’t help but wonder what it is you are missing. Almost like an inside joke that you are not privy to. The case is the same for events, products, you name it.
No one is willing to put their ‘life’ on the line for someone/something they barely know or care about. And so they lie. And you can’t blame them.
Because of a term called trash talking, whose definition is literal – talking rubbish about someone/something. The synonyms of trash talking include hating and that’s the only one I know of. Feel free to share if you know any others. The definition of hating is very literal as well – to hate on something/someone. Basically defamation of character of someone/something.
That is where the dilemma lies. Where is the line between constructive criticism about someone/something and defamation of their character aka trash talking? If there is a line, who gets to decide it, and who gave them the power?
Although the deeper dilemma might be, does it matter? Does all this matter if people are not willing to know the truth about themselves or their products and services? A moment of silence to all the customer care and relationship executives that are going to be laid off, because who cares about what the customer is saying if you don’t want to know exactly what they are saying?
This brings a bigger aspect into perspective though – strategy.
- Do business owners assess the market, and their target audience before launching and going ahead with their products or services? Are the products or services addressing real needs or are they part of the fad business?
- Is quality important to the customers? Do customers care about the quality of products or services they use or do they prefer to avoid conflict than help in improving the quality of products or services they use?
- Are there criticism experts (in Uganda)? What this does, is it eliminates the ‘hater’/trash talking concept because someone is paid to do exactly that. This creates an independent third party who can look out for the interests of the customers without offending the business owner. This might easily be the win-win that business owners and customers have been looking for. And it might work.
For now though, how are y’all handling any discontent you suffer from business owners, especially from ‘smaller’ ones where any negative feedback is considered as bringing down Ugandan businesses/personal. Of course, it’s okay if we do it to MTN or UMEME, because they have been around for a while so in that case we deserve the very best. Also word on the block is that if you don’t like how a business is being run, you should start your own. Any people that have started their own businesses due to grievance from using a product/service, and how’s that coming along?
Where is the line between constructive criticism about someone/something and defamation of their character aka trash talking? If there is a line, who gets to decide it, and who gave them the power?
I did start a business because of frustration with a product I had in my hands. I was fed up of the synthetic leather steering wheel covers on the market. They peel off due to wear and tear. But worse still, my hands would get sweaty and become a mess if I drove on a hot day. So I made steering wheel covers from African fabrics.
It’s been hard starting the business. I’ve received both positive and negative criticism but I look forward more to the negative criticism. It’s the latter that shows how and where you can do better. The former is nothing more than a stroke of egos.
That’s amazing. All the best with your business.
Legit points, Pearl. I must admit, when I saw the title, I thought the post would be about the Sunday TL.
I fear that in most instances! To be labeled a trash talked so I do not give any criticism what-so-ever if I do not know you or you haven’t asked for it. If you act like you know it all, then nada – i’ll just flee from you!
It’s sad that that seems to be best thing to do. Growth might be a bit slower without feedback.
I think the difference is simple. If you feedback is directed to the brand / company and the feedback benefits them, then that is constructive criticism. If the feedback is not directed at the brand / company and you have no intention of the brand benefiting from your feedback but rather are just stinging them with no suggestions on how to better their product / service then quite naturally, that is just trash talk. Trash talk does not see to improve but rather to put down while constructive criticism does not seek to put down but rather to improve.
I agree, however sometimes someone might not know what they want but know what they don’t want. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think it’s important not scare people into holding back feedback. That’s a dangerous position for any brand to be in.