FAMILY BLOG

FAMILY BLOG

7 Ways To Make Your Facebook Politics Effective

by Linda L. Rigsbee on 02/08/16

Question: Can a political post on Facebook make a difference, or is it just a good way to make enemies? Answer: Yes – it can do both.

Here are 7 ways Political Facebook posts can be made more effective.

 1. Always check the facts for accuracy.

Any time you post something, it has the potential to influence a person’s perspective. Accurate facts are more effective than inaccurate facts. Inaccurate facts are almost always biased. Misquotes and quotes attributed to the wrong people are either poorly researched or intended to mislead. If this happens very often, people stop listening.

     Some people won’t like the truth and they may try to twist it to their way of thinking. Most people appreciate being told the truth so that they can make up their own mind about whether it is right, wrong or indifferent.

2. Always be Respectful.

Some things appear to be purely common sense. When we voice that thought, it puts us on the slippery slope to a heated argument instead of an informative debate. Belittling doesn’t convince anyone that you’re right. It only convinces them that they don’t want to listen to you. A political post should be informative, not inflammatory.

4. Link unbiased sources.

Any source has the potential of being biased, but when a source has a name or description that announces it is has a specific perspective (conservative, progressive, specified religion, etc), the chances are greater that the information is biased. If you use a source like this, make sure that the posting is accurate and complete. Anyone can post something on the World Wide Web. It doesn’t have to be accurate.

5. Post the whole truth.

Information that is taken out of context is generally biased, but sometimes the brevity required for a picture post is incomplete enough to give the wrong impression. Sometimes that is the intention of the original poster. It is then passed on by people who didn’t read the entire article or listen to the entire speech. If you are going to quote one phrase out of a speech, always link the entire source. We have all experienced someone listening to only part of what we said and jumping to their own conclusion of what they think we meant. This happens more in politics because more people are listening.

6. Be kind.

It’s your Facebook page and you should be expected to post what YOU think, right? It’s all in the delivery. The fact that someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make them a stupid moron. In fact, if you can’t tolerate an opposing point of view delivered in a respectful way, you may be the narrow minded person that you are accusing them of being. By the same token, some people seem to be spoiling for a fight. Use the unfollow or unfriend options or delete the post. If you delete your comment, it deletes all replies, regardless of whose post it was originally. Keep in mind that if you reply to a post, your Facebook friends will also be able to see it.

      No one is right 100% of the time and most of us spout off at one point or another. Apologize when you know you have offended someone. It happens. When someone apologizes to you, forgive them. Isn’t that what friends do?

 

7. Make appropriate posts.

Facebook is a social network. If you wouldn’t say something at a party of friends in your home, it probably doesn’t belong on Facebook. If someone is at your party who wants to vote for A and you know Z is the best choice, you don’t go on and on about the personal faults of A, do you? Most people will ignore a few offensive comments about their party – especially if the comments are humorous – but no one wants a steady diet of complaints.

     Of course, no one should get all their news from Facebook, but if each person does their part in assuring their political posts are accurate, there is no reason that political Facebook posts can’t have an influence on elections. I know that some posts have caused me to rethink an issue. That’s what we really want people to do – think about the issues and make sure they are well informed before they vote.

The Slippery Slope to Cyber Bullying

by Linda L. Rigsbee on 10/30/14

The chances are that all of us have had one foot on the slippery slope to bullying more than once in our lives. That's because we are all imperfect and the pathway is often confusing. Sometimes we have been given the wrong instructions and sometimes we misinterpret the instructions. Sometimes we rewrite the instructions.

 

A bully is a person who tears others down in the process of building themselves up. Think you've never done that? Think again.

Have you ever called someone stupid? You see the word on Facebook a lot these days. Calling someone stupid implies that they are not as intelligent as you are. Pointing out an opposing idea as stupid indicates that you think your idea is better. Either case could be true, but beware of the slippery slope.

 

Having the right information doesn't always make you right. The right information delivered with arrogance is offensive and generally inefficient. It is disrespectful. Instead of being passed on, it is more likely to be ignored. Getting the right information can be dubious. Research is easier with the internet, but anyone can post information. Even if the information is from a reliable source, it could be outdated, incomplete or misinterpreted. No one is right 100% of the time, no matter how well informed. People respond better if given the information and allowed to verify it, accept it or reject it at their own discretion.

 

Remember the old saying, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all?" The reason so many people toss that rule aside is because sometimes unpleasant things need to be addressed. This is where the pathway gets foggy.

Unpleasant things can be presented in a positive or negative manner. It is our choice, but often we don't have the skills to present the idea in a positive perspective. Half the words in a negative article could be scrubbed. Sometimes we let emotion take the place of reason. That's a quick way to hit the slopes.

 

Learning communication skills is as important as learning to speak. Technology has evolved to the point that it allows us to hide behind a fictitious name or identity. We no longer look the other person in the eye or see them flinch when our words are harsh. We don't see the disbelief or scorn in their eyes when we use politically correct terms. We no longer see the consequences of our words until something drastic happens.

 

The art of communication isn't winning an argument or making yourself look good. The art of communication is the transformation of words to thoughts that convey information between two or more people. If it isn't working for at least two people, it isn't working at all. Today we can post something that reaches hundreds of people who will each have their own take on it. Inevitably, someone is going to disagree. Everyone benefits from a new perspective, whether they agree with it or not. Inevitably, right or wrong, someone is going to agree with the opposing viewpoint. That is communication. As long as the opposing point of view is presented with skill, we stay off the slippery slope.

 

How do you think people could improve their communication skills?

 

WHAT IS SUCCESS?

by Linda L. Rigsbee on 09/10/14

     As a writer, I usually hear success measured in monetary terms. Successful writers have best sellers or become rich and famous. The general public often thinks of it this way, and even writers themselves.

But what is success? I think that in order to answer that question, we need to ask ourselves what we would consider the opposite of success. Most of us would say it was failure, but wait a minute. That would mean that poor people are failures. I don't think many would agree that being poor meant you were a failure, and yet, we instantly recognize being rich as being a success. We all know money talks. In fact, sometimes it talks so loud that we hear nothing else.

     If we tossed money out of the picture, how would we define success? Would it be popularity? Would it be leaving a legacy? How would you define it?

     I think of success as achieving a goal. It doesn't have to be a monumental goal. After all, if we go on a diet and lose weight, wouldn't we consider that success?

     My goal as a writer is to write books that people enjoy reading. I have many emails from fans who tell me how much they enjoy my books. I consider that success. I want to reach as many people as possible. Many of my books have been free reads online for years. I have hundreds of thousands of hits on them from all over the world. I consider that success. I have reached my goals. The truth is, it has never been my goal to become a rich and famous writer. I probably never will be - not because I lack the skill, but because it isn't important enough to me to justify the effort. You see, when a writer becomes rich and famous, it isn't necessarily that they are the best writer. Writing a book is hard, but it is the easy part compared to all the marketing involved in publishing. Marketing is a lot of work. The old adage that it takes money to make money is correct, but it also takes a mountain of effort. When I see a best selling writer, I think of all the time, discipline and effort they put into getting there. That was their goal and they have been successful.

     So, in answer to my question, "what is success," I would answer, "achieving your goal." Don't wait for success to be defined by someone else. Set a goal and achieve it. Everyone can be successful.

Toss or Recycle?

by Linda L. Rigsbee on 07/13/14

When my father came to live with us in 2011, he brought with him the toaster that he claimed to have received as a wedding gift.  Since they were married in 1946, I assumed that he was mistaken.  I looked it up and discovered to my amazement that he was not mistaken.  He was still using a 1946 Toastmaster toaster!  Dad died in June of 2012 and we are still using that toaster daily.

            At some point, Dad replaced the cord on the toaster, but otherwise, it has lasted all these years.  Toasters haven't changed much in the last 68 years, aside from the addition of two or more ports for toast and a wider slot for bagels.  On the other hand, I have a Hamilton Beach Model 702 Food Processor that my mother gave me over twenty years ago.  It still works great.  I even have the original manual (though it is food-stained).  But food processors have changed a lot in twenty years.  Now they are smaller and more powerful.

            I got a small hand mixer as a wedding gift that lasted about 20 years through heavy use.  Finally the motor burned up, so I bought another, and then another a year later when that one burned up.  Mixers haven't changed much in technology over the years either, but apparently the quality has.

            Why can't we make a mixer that lasts longer?  We recycle plastic, cardboard and glass to keep it out of the dump, but we toss our mixers every year?  We upgrade cars and computers.  Why can't we make a mixer that can be repaired or upgraded?  Why can we no longer make an economical toaster that lasts 60 years?

            Economical is probably the key word here.  When I got my first mixer, the cost was around $10 to $15.  I was making less than $2 an hour, so that would have been about a day's pay.  Today that mixer would still cost about the same, but minimum wage is over $7 an hour, so it would only be a few hours work.  Proportionately, the cost of that item has gone down.  Mass production is the biggest reason.  As quantity increased, has quality declined?

            Of course, we can't lay all the blame at the feet of manufacturing companies.  As price goes down, we find tossing the item and buying another makes more sense.  Certainly it makes no sense to pay someone $7 to $15 an hour to fix a $10 item.  As technology grows, fewer of us are able to fix our own electronics.

            Technology and style are other reasons to toss perfectly good equipment.  We want to upgrade to something that does more and looks better.  Do manufacturing companies build the market or do consumers set it?  If consumers and investors demand that products last longer, they will.  If we demand items to be repairable, they will be.  We have the capability.  Do we lack the willpower?

Ultimately each of us has to make our own decision.  Upgrade, repair, recycle or toss it in the dump.  We have to decide which is more important to us in each case and realize the answer isn't always going to be the same.  Sometimes we have to toss things, but often we have a choice.

Because I Said So

by Linda L. Rigsbee on 06/04/14

If you've answered your child's plea for an explanation with the words "Because I said so," you're not alone.  If you've found the phrase annoying and frustrating when your parents say it, you are in the majority.  So, if parents didn't like it when they were kids, how come they use it on their kids?  There are a number of reasons, most good.

 

1.  Urgency:  Sometimes there simply isn't time for an explanation.  For example, let's say a person is about to step off a curb and doesn't see an oncoming car.  You yell to stop, but they ask why and continue because they see no reason to stop.  It is important that we learn to obey an urgent command immediately, for the sake of safety, if nothing else.

2.  Age, Experience or Maturity:  Sometimes people are incapable of completely understanding an explanation.  For instance, a 3-year old would understand that a car might run over him, but probably wouldn't understand the significance of back-up lights.  A 12-year-old might not recognize the indications of a dangerous neighborhood.

3.  Bad timing:  Sometimes there is time for an explanation, but it isn't the right place or time.  Some explanations require privacy.  It would be inappropriate to go into a detailed explanation in front of a bunch of friends if you can't go to the movies with them because you are being punished for leaving your dirty underwear in the bathroom again.

4.  Uncomfortable:  Sometimes the phrase is simply easier or allows parents to put off an uncomfortable conversation.  Let's face it, parents are people too, and no one ever said parenting was easy.  Parents grow weary of having their judgment continually questioned.  Asking if you are going to have visitors when you're told to clean your room implies that is the only time your parents clean the house. 

5.  Ignorance:  Parents sometimes use the phrase when it would serve everyone best to offer an explanation.  Children grow up faster than parents are ready to let them go.  The time between when a child doesn't understand a concept and when they fully comprehend can be incredibly short.

6.  Impatience:  Last but not least, sometimes it is simply easier to say "because I said so," than it is to sit down and explain.  Parenting is exhausting and sometimes parents take short cuts.  Sometimes children ask for explanations when they know why.  Maybe they want to procrastinate or maybe they are simply hoping for a different answer.

 

            It is important to learn to obey without expecting explanations.  While we generally learn that in childhood, it certainly isn't restricted to children.  If we continually questioned every order our boss gave us, we wouldn't be employed long.  The backbone of the military is obedience without explanation.  Learning to do as we are told without verbally questioning everything is simply part of growing up.  That doesn't mean we should not question things.  It simply means there is a time and a place for questions.  If the time or place is wrong for our questions, we're likely to get the equivalent of the response "because I told you so," regardless of whether we are parents or children.

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