Lead by example when using social media
With all the recent news stories and media publicity about bullying maybe it is time to do another article on bullying. This article has no intention of shedding any light on any recent happenings in this area. I know nothing about any of that so I will not make any comments and let it be tried as it should be by the legal or school system and not by the media. The big question in this article is has hiding behind Facebook and social media made us bigger bullies?
Since I write from my personal experiences I’ll tell you about a story that happened not too long ago. My daughter put up a story about stopping and giving money to someone homeless. Her story was not about the homeless man but it was about the people flipping her off as she was doing it. What ensued after that post was absolutely mind-boggling and completely ridiculous!
It became about the homeless man and people’s opinions on the homeless. No one said or is saying that you should stop and give money to the homeless. That is entirely your prerogative and within your own right. But what in the world would possess people to verbally lash people that choose to give money to these homeless people? The thread became so abusive and verbally attacking that my daughter took the whole thread down!
My point in this is that has hiding behind Facebook and social media given us a mouth that overrides our common sense? It seems that people cannot just let someone else’s post ride if they disagree but that they must get on there and continue to fight and argue every single point made. Why do we assume that everyone in the entire world wants to know our opinion about everything? While giving your opinion in a constructive manner is acceptable, name-calling and verbal thrashing is not!
There are few subjects that I have strong opinions on, but am I going to change your opinion by calling you a name or telling you that you’re wrong?
I do not believe in breeding dogs for profit while 10,000 dogs are put down every day in our shelters. But am I going to convince you of this by calling you names and telling you how wrong you are? Or do I try to gently and prayerfully educate you as to the plight of dogs in this country. I choose the latter by advising spay and neuter.
I believe Jesus died for our sins and that he is our way to eternal life. But can I convince you of this by telling you that you are wrong and that you’re going to hell if you do not believe what I believe? No, I choose to lovingly try to educate and pray that you will see that Jesus is our hope and our salvation.
Did I choose to go back to college in order to get a lucrative job where material possessions and money is the end goal? I suppose my age kind of answers that question! While young people must make a living and careers for themselves in order to live productively in our society, I try to show that perhaps while making our living we could try to make the world a better place and our society a better place by thinking of things besides material wealth.
And when presented with a judgmental and know it all attitude to get our views across we have become verbal and social media bullies? Maybe the next time you see a status that you disagree with you could take a couple minutes and pray that you’re given the right words to get your point across in a courteous and informational manner as opposed to saying something that will hurt someone’s feelings or cause distress to someone. We will never change people’s minds with hurtful caustic abusive words. This is just a fact. And the posts that I am speaking of are all posts by adults. Our children learn from what we do not from what we say. Keep that in mind as we try to educate our young on the tragedies involved in bullying.
Let’s lead by example. Give kindness and information a try and don’t be a Facebook or social media bully. I do believe we can become a better community and the community that people look up to if we just put a few simple rules into effect.
By Gaye Suhling
The Write Team