Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Social Media Strategy: 2017

We should ask ourselves why we are so angry, so bothered, so incensed by what others are doing, experiencing, believing and posting on social media. We should also consider our motivation for passing on information and our reason for being on social media altogether. I think, if we each took an honest look at ourselves, our own feelings, and our own actions, the face of social media as well as it's platform would change dramatically.

For my part, I have decided to commit to the following social media guidelines for the remainder of 2017. I promise you that:

1. I will revert to my original purpose for using Facebook which was to catch up and keep up with old friends and new, with family and with former coworkers.

2. I will only post original statuses on Facebook. In other words, I will not use the status of others or the words of others. When Facebook asks, "what's on your mind," I will share that and only that.

3. If I choose to repost something, I will only repost from a source I know personally and I will give full credit to the original author. I will limit those reposts to humor and encouragement.

4. If I choose to pass along information or news, I will only repost from reputable sources and I will research the information in depth before I share it with others. I will also add any additional sources that may be helpful to those who might choose to read it.

5. I will continue to share my life and, by "my life" I mean, my daily adventures, experiences, and conquests. I will keep talking about work and my kids and my family and my dog. I will still post pictures and links to my blogs but I will remember that my motivation behind it all should be to make someone smile or to provide an uplifting moment to others.

6. I will NOT comment or respond to anything on Facebook or Twitter out of anger, disgust, or a need to "RIGHT" someone else's opinion. I will first ask myself, "why does this bother me" and I will answer that question instead of responding. Then I will ask myself how I can truly bring about change because I know that responding in that moment is not the answer.

7. I will continue to share my volunteer efforts, the issues about which I feel passionate, and my efforts to bring about unity in the world but only with the intention of sharing and not in an effort to "change your mind."

8. I will not use social media as my first source of news.

9. I will continue to post rock star tweets on Twitter that garner the attention of famous people.

10. I will always use social media to make connections.

11. I will utilize my tumblr blog to post little bits of myself and inspirational quotes and the antics of my dog.

12. I will not allow the posts of others to get my blood pressure up because I will not take social media that seriously.

13. I will continue to be an activist in real life and online but only because it is what I feel like I should do and I believe it is a part of my purpose to work to make life better for the marginalized and to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and equally. But I will not set the expectation that everyone else must do the same.

14. I will keep playing candy crush and I will not apologize.

15. I will tweet about the bachelor one moment and indigenous issues the next and I will not allow my number of followers to change my method of operation.

16. I will not censor myself but I will put folks into categories, especially those who continue to think they know me but who I know really know nothing about me at all.

17. I will delete people but not because I disagree with them. I will delete them if they spew hate or promote an angry and separatist agenda. I will not stand by as witness to racism, sexism, anti- (insert the religion you hate here)-ism, etc.

18. I will follow people and add friends who make me feel good or who make me laugh or who push me to be a better person.

19. I will spend more time writing books and lesson plans than I will perusing Facebook or Twitter.

20. I will blog at least once every month.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Thoughts Before... 2017 Gets Rolling

Thoughts before Bed, a weekly series (and sometimes a bi-weekly series) of Facebook posts came about as I struggled to shut my mind off long enough to fall asleep at night. Often enough, it is thought provoking, sometimes, silly and sometimes serious. So, I promised an edition of THOUGHTS BEFORE BED before the new year and I thought it would be great to actually kick off 2017 with it.

We have a tendency, as human beings, to do what is easy and rightfully so. Life is hectic and everyone has days when "busy" doesn't come close to defining our experience. But as we venture into 2017, I would like to challenge you, just as I challenge myself, to do the difficult things. You are here. You are in this space in time because you are needed at this very moment, whether you realize that or believe that or not. Your task may not be great. You may not walk a path of notoriety and fame. But you were created for such a time as this.


1. It's easy to be an asshole. This year, I hope we will pause, take a deep breath, and first, ponder how our thoughts or actions might affect others, not simply how they will be perceived. You are like a pebble skipping across a pond and your action creates a ripple that expands across your family, your community and your world. Think first.

2. It's easy to do nothing. Rather than rock the boat or send a ripple of consequence out in the world, it is easy to sit back and watch and remain silent or live a life of inaction. If you have the luxury of doing so, you should know that there are many who do not. There are those who fight every day to survive, to live, to have clean drinking water, to put food on the table, to say no to drugs, to keep a roof over their heads,  to find a cure for cancer, to better relationships in our communities between racial groups and religious groups and people on the opposite sides of whatever issue, to save the oceans and the whales and the manatees. Not everyone has to be an activist but we should all contribute to a "fight" in some way. Or at the very least speak up when someone else could use some back up.

3. It's easy to just click SHARE on any piece of news or inspiring meme or the quote of the day. And there is really nothing wrong with that because sometimes you have to get the word out or encourage others and you can't find the words yourself. BUT... I would challenge you to dive deep. How do YOU feel? What do YOU think? The greatest barrier to my writing has always been the fear of what others will think. So as I challenge myself to be honest and transparent, I challenge you to do the same.

4. It's easy to think you don't matter or you can't make a difference or one person can't change the world. But that's also a lie we tell ourselves. I smile. A lot. Not at work, really. But in the rest of my life. And I say hello. And it matters. There are little things in our everyday that we can do to change the atmosphere or the environment in which we live. I challenge you to commit one SIMPLE act of kindness EVERY DAY in 2017. And keep track of it. Journal. Write it in a little homework notepad. Make it your Facebook status or your ONE tweet. "Today, I smiled at every stranger I passed." Some days it will not matter to you but, in all likelihood, it will matter to the person you acknowledged.

5. It is easy to complain. I LOVE TO COMPLAIN. It provides fodder for my humor. I enjoy examining the sheer lunacy of the actions of others. I have a good time with a little road rage now and then so I am not boycotting complaining because some days it's a part of survival mode. But I think we should challenge ourselves, in the midst of real, legitimate complaining, to also come forward with a solution. If you can't figure out how to make something better, then just keep it under wraps.

6. It is easy to forget that everyone around you has a million things going on too. It might not be about you. Whatever IT is. We spend some much time worrying and wondering why other people do things or being angry because they didn't do something. Circumstances. Period. Stuff happens. Life happens. Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt.

7. It's easy to be so focused on everybody else that we forget to take care of ourselves. This is a HUGE one for me. God willing, I will get back to a place of balance in 2017.

8. Why are teenage girls so controlling with their boyfriends? (I know I didn't start that one off right...) It's easy to lose sight of our goals. That's what I meant to say. What are your goals? Your dreams? Why are you so worried about where he is and what he is doing and why he is taking 10 minutes to text you back? What are YOU DOING? Get up. Do something with your life. BE GREAT. Then he will be chasing after you. :)

9. It is easy to blame others for our situations, circumstances, state of mind. But why does that other person have so much more power over your life than you do? Just asking.

10. And finally, it is easy to give up. But I would suggest that more than ever, now is the time for you to just go for it. You might not get another chance.

Know that, I love you dearly. I look forward to seeing all the good that comes from each of you and your endeavors in 2017. Thank you for your loyalty, your kindness, your humor, and your love. Many days, you truly sustain me. Happy New Year everyone.