imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Can Facebook users become nice?

Personally, I don’t think we will ever be able to eliminate bullies and cyber bullies.  However, I do think that educating people can do a lot to help reduce the problem and Arturo Bejar is in agreement with me.

Who is Arturo Bejar?  He is an employee of Facebook and his job is to help teach its users how to be nice to each other and respect their feelings.  Some people may think this is an impossibility but he is actually making some progress.  His team has designed some tools to help people give feedback on any posts or photos that are harmful in any way.  By letting people know that their feelings have been hurt, users have been removing posts.

Social media certainly has its bad points as anything else in life, but it also has a good side.  Being able to send messages, express our thoughts and share pictures is a wonderful way to keep in touch with our families and friends as long as we don’t use it to harm other people or become so immersed in social media that we forget there is a real world out there.

We have to remember that when we are typing a message into a computer screen or cell phone, it is easy to take the human component out of our thoughts.   We can’t see the shock or pain in someone’s eyes.  We can’t see a tear running down their face.  We can’t read their body language.  We can’t hear a sigh or see them fall to the ground in complete despair when they read cruel words or see damaging pictures.  We are not connecting with each other on a human level and we lose our compassion.

When we send a message or picture, we should always make sure that we are not hurting anyone in any way.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • How would I feel if I received this post?
  • Will this person feel good or bad after seeing the post?
  • Am I sharing valuable information or just spreading gossip?
  • Am I trying to be helpful or hurtful?
  • Am I reacting in anger to a comment or action?
  • Should I think first and wait before sending this post?
  • Will there be any consequences to sending this post?

Always make sure you think carefully before pushing the send button.  I know how easy it is to say something and then regret doing so.  Once words are written or spoken, they can’t be taken back.  It only takes a few seconds to cause damage that takes a lifetime to repair.  Sometimes reparation isn’t even possible.

Here is the complete article……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/fashion/Facebook-Arturo-Bejar-Creating-Empathy-Among-Cyberbullying.html?_r=0

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If you don’t have anything nice to say…………

happy face with laptopMost of us have heard the expression, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.   I remember saying it to my children and it is actually good advice because once you say something, your words can never be taken back.   You should always be careful with your words because hurtful words can cause damage to both the person you are speaking to and yourself.    No matter what message you are trying to get across, even if it is necessary to make a point in the midst of a conflict, try to think about how to say it so it doesn’t cause irreparable damage.    Words can be softened just by our tone of voice and our body language.

When we are posting on social media, we need to be especially careful.  Hiding behind a computer or a cell phone, often gives us the courage to say things that we would never say to a person face to face.  We can’t see a person’s eyes, so we just go ahead and write whatever is in our thoughts.   This can result in problems that we don’t even consider.  Our words and pictures are on the computer forever, and they may come back in a few years to destroy our lives.   Several years after posting inappropriate photos, talking about our partying and using rude language, our past may come back to haunt us.  We may have worked hard to get top marks and are hoping for that great position we have always wanted.  Then during the job interview, these past memories are being viewed by the very person who is considering us for the job.  Oh, oh, can’t take it back now.  You already look like an irresponsible, uncaring, nasty person.

We need to teach our children how to use social media properly and how to communicate effectively.  Words are weapons and should be chosen carefully, not just spoken randomly without thinking first.  Children should learn manners, how to respect others and not to gossip.  Help them set good habits.  This can be done by being a positive role model and using our words responsibly both to our children and other people.

I watched a you tube video today by Dave Ramsey who speaks about how “we are raising a generation that is digitally stupid”.  People today do not even think about the consequence of their posts on social media and it is potentially ruining their lives.  He talks about an incident where a young girl caused her father to lose $80,000 because of her Facebook post.  You can watch the video here….http://youtu.be/Pye3ZJ-QKZ4

So, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all and you will be a much nicer person!

 

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I’ve had enough of facebook

lady watching videoFacebook is a great place to keep up to date with family and friends, sharing photos, interesting articles and important information.  However, Facebook can also be a place where people gossip about others, voice their anger and show inappropriate photos.   For myself, I keep a minimum of ‘friends’ and also ‘like’ a few pages with content that doesn’t need a rating to be seen by all ages.   Yet even though I limit my account, I still get information that I really don’t want to see.

A couple of days ago I watched a FB video that was done by a family member and it was the last straw for me.  I’ve seen enough sexual content, violence, rude pictures and coarse language.  I can just go anywhere in public and see enough of those things.  So I’ve closed my account until I decided whether or not to cancel it permanently.

People should be careful what they post on Facebook because it shows something about their character.   Everything we say and do is observed by others and it speaks volumes about who we are.  Making poor choices in posting inappropriate photos or saying rude comments at the expense of other people, will show that we are very selfish and don’t care if we hurt someone else.  Creating videos that can harm ourselves and be a poor example to other people will show that we lack responsibility and maturity.

We should always try to be a good example to others so we can influence them in a positive way, especially our children.   It doesn’t matter if you are in a public place surrounded by lots of people or sitting alone at your computer, people can be influenced by your words and actions.  Think carefully before you speak, write or take action.  Once words are released, they can’t be taken back.   Some things may seem like a good idea at the time or be funny in the moment, but several weeks, months or years down the road, you may not look at the situation in the same way.   Make sure you are saying and doing something that is of value and not something that can cause harm to yourself or other people.

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Bullying awareness week

clip bullyNovember 17-23 is Bullying Awareness Week across Canada.  This national campaign was created by the president of  www.bullying.org, Bill Belsey, who has won many awards for making the world a better and safer place for young people.  He also created the world’s first website on cyberbullying –  www.cyberbullying.ca and is the facilitator of online courses and webinars through his site www.bullyingcourse.com.  Mr. Belsey has appeared on various programs including Dr Phil, ABC News 20/20 and CNN.  He teaches school in Alberta and travels around the world speaking about various topics including bullying.

Bullying has always been around and always will be, but now with internet availability, cyberbullying has just magnified the problem.  When I was a child, my lack of ability to stand up for myself put me directly in the path of bullies.  Anyone who has low esteem is a direct target because bullies avoid anyone with strong esteem, they will only go after an easy victim.  This is because bullies have usually been abused or bullied themselves and they are looking for someone who is weak, so they can feel powerful and in control of their out-of-control lives.

I read an article this morning from CBC news that says the federal government is ready to put in new legislation to make is a crime for distribute intimate photos without the consent of the person in the pictures.   I’ve often wondered why people are allowed to freely send inappropriate photos of other people anywhere they want.  In the past, I worked for companies and organizations that require signed consent to take and distribute any personal photos.  Now with sites like Facebook and other social media, it seems that anyone can do what they want.  NOBODY should be allowed to pass on pictures without permission.  To me, this is theft – it is stealing the rights of a person to be seen and there should be laws against it.  I hope this legislation goes through and that more action is taken to protect the innocent who are being bullied in any way.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/cyberbullying-legislation-to-be-announced-today-1.2432717

However, something also needs to be done about the bullies.  There are so many children that are raised in homes where there is violence, bullying and abuse.  These children learn inappropriate behaviours and through their hurt they inflict pain on others.  Punishing them is necessary but they should also be learning how to make positive changes in their attitude and behaviour.  Schools should be implementing courses where all children are being taught how to communicate properly and how to act appropriately so they can become responsible, caring adults.   Education is the key to decreasing the bully problem both for the bullies and those being bullied.

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