Talking Tough on Twitter: Taking the Sting Out of Social Media Conversations

Talking Tough on Twitter: Taking the Sting Out of Social Media Conv... from The Werner Institute on Vimeo.


This webinar will focus on how to apply the concepts of high context/low context communication, conversation management and storytelling tactics to conflicts that occur on-line in social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Tumblr and even the video sharing site Vine.

Social media platforms are often approached by young people with a relatively open and sharing attitude. According to the Pew Research Center, 89% of 18-29 year olds use social media and 35% of all teen girls blog, 54% of girls post images online and 19% of teen boys post video content online ( In addition, smart phone use among teens and young adults has exploded along with use in the overall population. With all the content and connection being created online, the rise of cyberbullying and other forms of online intimidation has increased over the last few years.

Webinar attendees will learn how to navigate social media conflicts and confrontations by understanding the difference between high context and low context communication. They will learn the importance of engaging in difficult conversation as well as what constitutes such a conversation online. Finally, they will learn how to engage with effective storytelling tactics to defuse situations online that could morph into cyberbullying at a later date.

Links and Resources:

Presenter Bio:

Jesan Sorrells has an MA in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Abilene Christian University (2010), and a BFA from Bemidji State University (2008), and worked in the field of higher education in the area of student affairs for almost a decade. Beginning in 2012, he founded Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) based in Endicott, NY and serves as the Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant.

HSCT focuses on delivering ideas and solutions in the areas of conflict communication, social media marketing and entrepreneurship by effectively leveraging educational and marketing platforms for higher education organizations, local associations and small businesses through trainings, seminars and workshops.

HSCT has worked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Ithaca College, Southern Tier Young Professionals (STYP), the New York State Dispute Resolution Association, local law firms and SUNY-Broome Community College. Jesan currently serves on the Board of Directors of A Room to Heal as their Director of Marketing and sits on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors. He has an active blog presence through the HSCT Communication Blog as well as an ever-expanding content footprint on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. He will be launching the Earbud_U podcast in January 2015.


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Hello Everyone-

I am excited to be presenting this content today at the close of CyberWeek 2014. There have been several incredible discussions, webinars and other ways of interacting going on all week and I am happy to be a part of it.

As a conflict engagement practitioner, one of the areas that fascinates me is social media, particularly the prevalence of conflict inducing interactions that occur there on a daily basis. We have underestimated the power of social media to foment problems, and now we are just coming to the conclusions that interactions are changing our brains, the ways in which we choose to socialize and even the ways in which we behave external to social media interactions.

As cyber bullying in the school and workplace becomes more and more of a phenomenon with real impacts, conflict practitioners owe it to themselves to understand how storytelling, high/low context communication and even ideas of privacy vs. authenticity, interact inside of social spaces.

I look forward to meeting all who attend this webinar and can't wait to respond to the discussion on the thread below.

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)

Thanks are in order to Jesan Sorrells, (MA, BFA) for his presentation on “Talking Tough on Twitter: Taking the Sting Out of Social Media Conversations”. Mr. Sorrell’s comments associated with myth and stories linked to social media seem to reflect developments in such areas as mediation, education and counselling. Mediation can include a constellation of approaches including narrative (Winslade, 2000) and online narrative mediation. In these areas the use of narrative and metaphor have been recognized. Salmon (2003) states, “A big literature on [storytelling] has emerged recently as a way of sharing experiences and expressing tacit knowledge” (p. 209). There can be merit in trying to separate “the deed and the doer” to perhaps transform conflict. Conflict saturated situations might be changed through, for example, the use of metaphor. Please see for additional information about the use of metaphor in psychology.  For information on online narrative mediation please see p. 6 at These principles can be transported to Online Dispute Resolution.


Yours sincerely,

Jen Geary, Dr., LLB, MDE.


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