Tag Archives: online

Think before you speak (and post)

16 Dec

hiding-computerI’ve always been a positive person.  I wake up feeling happy and look forward to seeing what the day is going to bring me (and what I will bring to it).  If someone ever gave me a set of pajamas that say ‘Don’t Talk To Me Until I Have My Coffee’ they wouldn’t know me well at all.  I like to think I am ‘realistically positive’.  Not the type of positive that you want to kick in the teeth.   There are things I find hard to be positive about –  winter for one. There is a whole lot of ugly commentary that goes on in my head surrounding winter. But then I am able to move on from it as my it is my choice to live in a part of the world where winter happens.   I remember going to my confirmation classes with our priest and one of the boys asked facetiously ‘Father, do I have to confess EVERY dirty thought I have?’ to which Father MacDonald replied ‘If you confessed you that you had 13 dirty thoughts today I would beat you and say I had 19’.  Kind of like dirty thoughts – everyone has negative thoughts.

I’ve noticed something lately though and it is eating at my positive self. Media and social media has caused our society to become this cesspool of negativity.   Trump consumed people for months and the media/people posted every awful thing he said or did. It was as if the world was ending. Post after post of hysteria.   Police officers, drivers, developers, healthcare – no one is safe from this online judgement.  Where I live there is the threat of a teachers strike right now.  There is work to rule action in place – meaning that teachers are only doing what their contract binds them to do.  It seems every other person is posting some awful accusation or critical viewpoint of teachers or the government.  It is as if social media has given all of those ugly inner thoughts we have a place to be displayed and confessed.  In the past it meant going over to someone’s house to talk or writing a letter to the paper or going to a public political meeting.  It takes balls to get up in front of a group to speak publically about a criticism you may have and it takes skill to write a well crafted letter which the paper will print.  It doesn’t take much courage or skill to post negative/critical comments online.  In fact, any donkey or educated person (who statistically are actually the most critical) with an internet connection can do it.  Just like the earlier mentioned dirty thoughts – not every thought you have needs to be confessed.

It is the holiday season.  A time when we are historically especially stressed. And we all know what stress does: it brings those ugly-inner-critical-of-others-thoughts closer to the surface.   We are rushing around searching for presents, getting groceries, travelling.  Here are a few facts: it is going to be busy.  The parking lot is going to be full.  There are going to be lines.   And if you’re travelling the airlines might lose your luggage.  But what we must remember is that we are choosing to do whatever it is that we are doing. Set yourself up for success.  Have a drink before you go.  Go for a run.  Get laid.  Whatever it takes to get you into a good frame of mind.  Don’t go to Costco at 2 pm on a Saturday.

Before you go take a minute (or rather 4:23) to watch this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl2_knlv_xw.

I hope reading this has encouraged you to think before you speak, post or share.  The fact is: teachers are people who also have children, politicians are people we voted into power, you’ve been the person who didn’t see the light turn green and should remember how jarring it is to have someone blare their horn at you, you’ve been helped by a police officer before and our healthcare system has saved the life of someone you love.  I know you’re better than that.  Come on team let’s look on the bright side of things.  You’re alive.  Use your input in a more powerful way.

Think:

T: is it true?

H: is it helpful?

I: is it inspiring

N: is it necessary?

K: it is kind?

 

Shame Shame Double Shame

17 Feb

shame-on-you-fingers

We live in an age where shame isn’t felt as much because many things can be done electronically now rather than in person.  Texts, banking, dating, Dr. Google, cell phones, voting, etc.  Growing up we had one phone in our house and it was mounted on the wall in the middle of the dining/kitchen/living room.  If any of us wanted to call someone you had to do it in the middle of all the action and you likely had a parent answer the phone on the other end.  Our phone cord would get stretched so badly that it needed to be replaced often.  Now, every one has a phone of their own no matter what the age really.  So there is no shame involved as you no longer have to call a guy/girl with your entire family listening and then having to ask their mother/father to speak to them.  We even had a party line for quite a few years which meant our old cranky neighbor with one leg would often interrupt your call telling you to “get the hell off the phone”.  Communication has changed for all ages.

Internet dating has caused huge changes in the world of meeting and greeting.  No longer do you have to blow-dry your hair, rub 5 smelly creams all over you, put on lipstick, heels, get a cab, pay cover, to scour a bar full of creeps for someone you find attractive.  No, now you can wear your big flannel pj’s while you scope out potential mates online without going through the discomfort of approaching, breaking the ice and giving a number.  I know online dating has worked for some and I myself have tried it.  It didn’t work for me for a few reasons:  too many losers, too much energy, too much time, too much expectation and of course too many people dating multiples.  This is where the point of my post comes from.

My co-worker is fun, kind, very attractive, smart, financially independent single woman.  Sadly, she lost her husband and is back in the arena of finding a man. She has tried all the dating methods: bars, set ups, and of course online dating.  I love hearing all of the dating chronicles.  She is a bit older than me, but it seems that dating issues are the same no matter what age you are.  So here is the point of this post.  Michelle met a guy online: good looking, entrepreneur, fun, sporty, etc.  So, they were going on some dates and “poof” he falls off the face of the earth without any warning.  He pulled a Houdini.  She put on her big girl panties and kept trucking.  A few months later she heard from him out of the blue. Of course, he laid out a series of excuses for why he pulled the magic disappearing act – kids, work, he had a cold.  He asked her out again and she decided to go meet up with him.  Now, some would say ‘no, she should have said no’.  Well, most of the people that say that are in relationships.  When you are single and haven’t had a date in a few months your decisions making process is different.  Well they end up seeing each other and things actually went really well.  They started dating – met his mom, his kids, he met her son, she went to his cabin, concerts… until yet again he goes ‘poof’!  Arsehole.  She got over it.  Fast forward about a month when her best friend is at a party chatting with a friend of a friend.  In conversation one of the gals starts talking about her friend who was dating a guy she met online – good looking, entrepreneur, fun, sporty (sound familiar???) when suddenly he went “poof”.  It sounded oddly familiar so her friend asked “what kind of a company did he own?” – match.  “what was his name” – match.  Well, well, well it seems he was dating the both of them at the same time.  After some fact checking it is indeed the same guy.  The two women decided to meet.  He was in fact in “committed relationships” with the both of them and even went on dates with both of them on the same days!  Uh-oh.  Here he thinks he got away with dating the two of them (and maybe others) and he also jaded the both of them by falling off the face of the earth.  These two ladies decided to get the better of him.  They hatched a plan to hit a pub where they know he always goes.  They perched themselves at the bar and waited for him to walk in. Sure enough – he did. A very funny encounter followed.  Lucky for him his insurance broker arrived to meet him for dinner before they could embarrass him much further.  The pic at the top is what they sent to him after he went and sat at his table.

I love it.  I love that they took the bull by the horns, hatched a plan and made him squirm.  There is no shame anymore because we live in big urban environments where you will likely never see the person again.  He certainly didn’t think he was going to… at least not the two of them together. Boom!