The Near Miss

Social media is addictive. One of my biggest fears in life is that I might miss a great experience or opportunity. So I spend too much time consuming social media for fear of missing something. But sometimes missing something can be a good thing.

Last week, I was driving home when a car pulled out from behind a parked truck and almost hit me head on. The tires screeched and my adrenaline pumped. We didn’t crash – it was a near miss. We paused, looked at each other in relief for a moment, then went on our ways. But what if we’d hit? How would life be different right now?

Sometimes near misses happen in business too. I once found what I thought was the perfect career opportunity. The job description fit my skills and it was just what I wanted. The interview went well and I liked the big boss. I thought an offer was just around the corner, then suddenly . . . nothing. Pure silence. The opportunity fizzled out and I was left empty-handed. A few months later, a friend in the know told me that I’d had a lucky escape. It seems it was just another form of the near miss. My life might have been miserable working for that big boss.

I remember a time of great disappointment when I didn’t get a new client signed on. He seemed so eager to work with me that I started writing his blog before we’d sealed the deal. In a couple of weeks, he replied that some unforeseen circumstances had come up and the timing wasn’t right for his digital media strategy. Was it a lost opportunity or a near miss? Maybe he would have been a difficult client. I may never know.

Can you experience a near miss in the world of social media? Have you ever thought of posting something negative about someone? We all feel this way sometimes. Maybe you want to post a rant on Facebook about your mother-in-law. Or how about a slur against a co-worker on Twitter? Ever want to ridicule a celebrity or engage in a flame war with a stranger? If you did post it, think of how your life might be changed for the worse.

Do yourself a favour. If you write it, count to ten and read it again. Put your tolerance filters on and revise it before hitting the share button. You might just find you’re grateful for a near miss.