|Posted on May 8, 2020 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
I've seen a flurry of activity on my social media. Of course, that is what social media is for: sharing.
But when sharing starts to encompass fearful rhetoric, conspiracy theories and angry messages, I worry. I wonder where has the critical thinking gone? When we quickly share a meme, a joke, a photo that makes us smile or laugh, I know I don't always put too much thought into it. But when we share impactful videos and messages, without doing ANY fact checking, questioning 'Is this true'? we do ourselves and our friends a disservice.
I've had worries about our current situation, I have questions, uncertainty. But I strive to question, find out more and strive for fact-based information.
I implore you to please ask questions when you post:
Who is this person?
Are they credible? How so?
Who is the reporter? Are they credible? How so?
What is their agenda? Why is this being shared?
Who is their audience? What is their goal?
What is their platform? What is their media outlet?
Who owns or supports that?
Why would they post this?
Would could they stand to gain?
Who would speak for this? Against this? Why?
Look things up and consider as many questions, as many sides as you can.
Often, we embrace things that a good friend has shared, or that fits our narrative. But in these times, it's so crucial to take a moment, ask questions and think critically about it.
I remember learning about commercials in school-breaking down word use, images and suggestions used by advertisers to sway us. One shampoo commercial stated, 'For hair so healthy-looking, it shines.' At first, I could not see any problem, but after conversation with classmates, we realised, 'what is healthy-looking?.. what does that phrase mean? Wouldn't hair be simply 'healthy'.. and that was the hook. The company made no promise of health, but used words to imply it. And, of course, the hair model they used had long, beautiful, thick hair to visually appeal to us as well. Could an older man with thinning hair use this shampoo? Of course he could, but that woudn't inspire sales! And that's the job. To inspire sales.
So, when watching a YouTube video, sharing an arcticle, posting a theory, ask yourself: Am I critially thinking? Or am I just floating along, sharing, scaring. And if so, please take a moment to reconsider your role. You can reset. If you've been sharing in a quick moment something you scrolled past, without much consideration, that's okay. But starting now, RIGHT NOW, you can do better.
We are #inthistogether. Let's do better, together.
|Posted on May 4, 2020 at 12:40 PM||comments (0)|
Here in BC, Dr. Bonnie Henry has coined this phrase, 'Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe' and it's words to remember, words to live by as we navigate the isolation, changes and difficulties that are here alongside COVid-19. I thank her for those words, they have helped me over and over again in the past few weeks.
Lately, I have seen a lot of posts about hardships, struggles and the difficulties folks are facing. Lack of income, concern about finances, struggles with social distancing measures and uncertain timelines. And I feel it too. My husband and I have a financial burden at our door- we are both self employed with very little income coming in, and it's scary. We have taken what action we can- parking his car, less driving for me, applying for assistance, very little spending, and continuing to work on our mindset- we are safe, we are together, we are okay.
I would like to inspire us all to continue to air on the side of goodness. To know that the folks who govern our country are doing their best with every citizen in mind. That we are people, individuals, that are recognised, loved and cared about - no matter where your politics fall. I want to inspire us- as the invididuals- to be kinder, to let the helpful and peaceful thoughts, words and actions be our champions now.
In these uncertain times, it's very easy to jump onto social media posts or commentary that screams 'This is unfair!' It's very easy to get 'up in arms' about the difficulties we are facing. It's very easy to understand, with stress and frustration- we want justice, what about our freedoms, our rights?! I want to encourage you to consider what you are sharing, liking, reposting. I want you to consider the source, consider the facts- and consider the words used in many School Anti-bullying programs: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
One of the great things about our country (and many others) is that we have the freedoms to post whatever we like, whenever we like, without fear of retribution. When I see articles or posts about fines, fears and measures in place to keep us safe, I ask myself, 'How many situations were not like this?' How many citizens are choosing safe and kind behaviours instead? I wish we would read about and celebrate them as the focus of our news. I wish we would air on the side of goodness more often. The citizens who are caring, the police who give warnings - grapple with giving fines, the conversations that consider 'what's best for everyone' at all levels in our provinces and country.
Recently, I heard about a man recieving a $750 fine for playing basketball - and in my social circles, there were many who were appalled by this. But, in the article by CBC (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/kitchener-basketball-player-fined-refusing-leave-park-1.5522579) , many others were also there and when asked to go home for social distancing, they did. There was no fight, no fuss, no drama. They were told to go home, for safety, for social distancing, for health... all reasons we are aware of in these times. It was a reminder to them, with reasonable explanations, and chose to go home.
One man rallied against this order and was therefore fined. And this is the focus- this is the reason for the fueds I have seen. Again I say, let's air on the side of goodness. We can understand wanting to get together, missing sports and social activities. But, it's not safe or healthy, and most of the folks there that day, understood. Was this the right day for that one fellow to take a stand?
I don't believe it was. If you look at the next steps our health teams are working on, they include businesses re-opening with safe gathering guidelines, families being able to get together with 'bubble sharing' (https://globalnews.ca/news/6894169/coronavirus-social-circle-bonnie-henry/), encouraging getting outside (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/please-go-outside-dr-bonnie-henry-says-covid-19-much-less-likely-to-spread-outdoors-1.5550191). You can see the plans for our future, a bright future with health, safety and love at the top of the agenda.
The idea that we are going to be locked up, locked in, controlled is... ludacris to me. We should celebrate our caring officials, caring health teams and caring fellow citizens. I see you, kind people!
Amplify your love, amplify your kindness. The voices celebrating safetly, love and kindness need to be heard. Please keep sharing hope, love and remember Dr. Henry's words:
Be Kind, be calm, be safe.