Thoughts on Social Media Drama

How do you handle trolls on social media? Here are some of my ideas on how to control drama on your wall.

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Why All the Social Media Drama?

Some  People Need to Feel Superior by Always Being Right

Many people have been hurt leading up to and after the election by social media drama. Friends and family have rejected each other because of opposing views. It seems some people have forgotten how to be kind to others. Although many talk about tolerance, they aren’t tolerant of  others who disagree with their views. People are actually unfriending each other virtually and in the real world over this. They seem to have forgotten their common humanity, as well as their manners.

Thoughts on Social Media Drama
The Tongue is a Fire. Created on getstencil.com, Public Domain

 

Why do people do this? Some appear to get their significance by being right. So if someone implies they aren’t right, they get defensive or go on the offense. I get my own sense of worth from knowing I’m a loved child of God, so what others think of my opinions really doesn’t matter. I am free to be kind to  those who disagree with me and try to have a rational discussion to try to find some common ground.

If someone starts attacking the character of others on my own timeline, however, I don’t tolerate it. If he or she is not a real-world friend or someone I’ve worked closely with online, I just might unfriend him or her to protect my other friends from being attacked. If the person has usually been a real friend, I might just hide offensive posts.

I have seen two kinds of social drama. The first, mentioned above, involves people who strongly disagree with each other about politics, religion, or any number of other things and can’t help attacking those who disagree with them. Instead of saying things like “have you considered (any reason you have for your own beliefs)?” or “Here are some reasons why I have to disagree with you,” or “What makes you feel that way?” they attack with statements such as “You are an idiot to believe that.” They might even cuss at you.

Such statements make it clear that they don’t respect their friends with opposing views and cannot make a case based on facts or even reasons why they disagree. They certainly won’t win anyone to their way of thinking by making such personal attacks on people’s intelligence or character. They have made it clear they look down on and feel superior to those who oppose them.

Some People Seemingly Just Like to Start Trouble or Hurt People

We often call them trolls.

troll-1295831_640

See that cloud over the troll’s head? Generally, that’s why trolls behave the way they do. If they see someone who’s happy they want to rain on their parade and say something nasty. I guess they enjoy making people feel as miserable as they feel. Those who create social media drama tend to have few real friends. They seem to get any sense of worth they may have in seeing how much trouble and pain they can cause. They don’t just pick on one person. They pick on almost everyone. They are the bullies of the internet and social media sites like Facebook.

How Do You Deal With Internet Bullies?

  • You can unfriend them or just hide their hurtful remarks from your timeline.
  • If you know them well enough to know why they are hurting, you might try to draw them out in a caring private message that expresses sympathy for the situation that’s hurting them and let them vent a bit to you.
  • You can message a troll with a warning. After hiding the first attack post, tell trolls kindly you don’t tolerate personal attacks on anyone on your timeline and if they persist you will regretfully have to unfriend them. This will probably get you either an apology from a real friend or an even worse attack from someone who isn’t.
Thoughts on Social Media Drama
Please pin me.

I was inspired to  write this post by reading “Let’s Talk About Preventing Social Media Drama” by Eileen Calandro who was guest posting on “She Saved.”  In her post, Eileen shares her interaction with a mother whose daughter had innocently posted something she never expected would hurt a friend, but seemingly it did. The mother was contacted by the friend’s mother who said her daughter had been hurt by the post. Eileen offers her response to the mother of the poster. It is a helpful post if you have children active on social media and you want to protect them from social media drama. Although this was a mild case, we do know that some teens have killed themselves after being attacked by internet bullies.

How do you handle social media drama in your social media interactions?

 

PostLoop Provides Earning Opportunities on Discussion Forums

How would you like to get paid for discussing subjects that interest you with others in selected online forums? Now you can. Here’s how.

Chatting on PostLoop is Rewarding
Chatting on PostLoop is Rewarding

Do you enjoy social media and wish you could get paid for all that fun you have? Facebook and Twitter won’t pay you for talking, but two other sites I know of will. I’ve already talked about Chatabout which has paid me once now.  Today I’d like to introduce PostLoop.

PostLoop lets you pick forums from their list on subjects that interest you and you just join the discussions. Most of the forums limit you to a set number of paid posts you can make a day. You do have to go through a qualification process first on the PostLoop Forum so they can give you a rating. That rating will determine how much you get paid.

I have given you some pointers in this Bubblews post on the system for earning at PostLoop that has worked for me . So far I’ve been paid twice. The payout threshold is $5.00. Be sure and read the terms carefully to make sure you are eligible to be paid through PayPal.

What I like about PostLoop is that I can work as much or little as I please there, up to the limit I can post per site per day. You do have to refresh your subscriptions frequently to make sure your posts will count for payment, as it’s easy to go over the limit without realizing it. Sites can also be disabled or go off line temporarily as paid sites.

I find the discussions fun and stimulating, and they often give me ideas for writing on other sites. Try it and see if it’s for you. It’s free for writers.  Forum and blog owners use it to hire people like you to keep their sites alive and well.

I Guess I’m Just Not With the Times

Do you like the way the word “like” is now being used? Do you, like, see no reason to, like, be concerned about this? Are you like “The language is just evolving?” Or do you not like this contemporary usage any more than I do?

I have watched as today’s’ publishers of children’s and young adult books have been letting their characters model what I consider atrocious English usage.  Two of the most prevalent examples of this were using the word “goes” instead of “said.” Example: “So he goes “You’ve got to be kidding.” And so on.

like-1804599_1200-feature

The other example was the use of the word “like” as a  placeholder while thinking of something to say, or in the phrase “was like” instead of “said.” An example of the first would be “So he, like, wanted to take me out, but I, like, couldn’t, like, stand him.”  An example of the second would be “So he’s like “I don’t believe it! and I’m like “It’s true.”

As I read sentences like this in the new books being published a few years back I cringed, because I knew that reading this kind of dialogue would validate less than standard English among those who most needed to learn standard English. Today I saw “How to Use the Word Like in English.” I guess I’m now officially a dinosaur.

It’s also true that books that use this slang will soon be obsolete. Language fads don’t last long. I’m hoping these like-laden books will, like, disappear like very soon.

I believe this was written for people learning English as a Second Language. I rather wish it had been written to help ESL students understand this usage when they heard it, not to teach them that this is how to use the word. This usage not only wrecks the sound of the English language and supports fuzzy thinking, but it also tangles up the rules of punctuation.

Is this the kind of English usage now being taught in American public schools?

One-to-One-Instruction

New research shows how important explaining things to mom is in a child’s education. Problem solutions explained to mom help young children retain what they have learned and be able to transfer that learning to new situations. Having to explain helps develop critical thinking skills.

One-to-One-Instruction

One-to-One-Instruction

A lot has been said about the importance of parents in a child’s education, but today I found an article that shows we were using the right approach in our homeschooling —Learning from Explaining: Does it Matter if Mom is Listening?

I’ve written a lot about the need to read aloud to young children often and in past posts we’ve given a lot of hints on how to to that, especially in When You Read Aloud, Ham it Up. I haven’t said as much about the other technique we used to see how much the children understood. That method was to ask the children to explain something to us or to put something they had read into their own words.

Now in the article referenced above,  a study suggests that explaining something to Mom (and I think the same would be true of Dad) is the best way to fix the  problem solving method a child uses in his brain so that the information will transfer to a different situation. The study used four and five-year-old children and gave them some classification problems to solve. Some were instructed to just solve the problems and repeat the solutions. Others were asked to solve the problems and explain to themselves how they did it (while recording), and the third group was asked to explain to their moms how they solved the problems. (The article will give you several pages of details on this experiment and the data generated.)

The results showed that those who explained the solution to themselves or their moms did much better at retaining the information than those that just repeated the solution. But those who explained to their moms did better than the other two groups at transferring what they had learned to solving different problems.

Explaining a solution forces a child to think critically about his method. Explaining to a parent is even more helpful. I would imagine that this would also extend to explaining to a teacher or tutor, but it illustrated once again how important  verbal interaction with significant adults is in student learning. It’s not just important to get an answer correct, but also to know the process of getting that correct answer.  Remembering that process is much easier if the student has explained it to an adult.

 

Oral Comprehension Lays the Foundation for Reading Comprehension

If we are trying to improve a child’s reading comprehension, we need to start with oral comprehension, and we should begin this when the child is still just learning to use language. This means parents need to be involved. They are their children’s first teachers, and they lay the foundation for all future learning.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? If a child can’t comprehend spoken language, he’s not likely to understand what he reads, either. We all learn to use spoken language before we learn to read. Almost any parent or teacher has those moments when they are quite sure a child has not understood a word they said, though they also might believe the children did not want to understand and didn’t really listen.

It still follows, though, that if we are trying to improve a child’s reading comprehension, we need to start with oral comprehension, and we should begin this when the child is still just learning to use language. This means parents need to be involved. They are their children’s first teachers, and they lay the foundation for all future learning. One of the first things they teach children is how to talk.

I know few parents who have taken an educational methods course in teaching children to talk. They are able, instead, to zero in on the child’s own desire to interact with them. If the parents talk, the child  will want to talk. If the child wants something, he has to learn the words that will communicate his needs. He also begins to learn what the parent expects of him, and even the meaning of the word “No!” The parents will teach the names of the objects and living beings in the children’s world and some basic concepts such as over, under, through, run, push, and all the rest. By the time the child reaches kindergarten, he’s supposed to have that basic grasp of language.  He will, if the parents have spent enough time interacting with him.

However, many parents are too busy and too tired at the end of a day to meet all the child’s interaction needs. Many children live with a single parent who also works outside the home. At the end of a day, the temptation is to put the child in front of the television or a video game rather than interacting with him. Thus the child has no need to to actively use his brain to understand, but can sit passively and absorb or, in the case of the video game, develop hand/eye coordination, but not improve communication skills.

What’s the solution? Reading enjoyable stories to the child for twenty minutes each night, maybe just before bed, can be a big help. The parent can go to the public library once every couple of weeks and check out books that look not only appropriate for the child’s age and interests, but that also look like they would be fun for the parent to read. Keep these books so the child has access to them at certain times of the day, and then let him pick one of them for you to read to him. There are some good suggestions in this previous post: Choosing the Best Children’s Books, Part 1. Another previous post, When You Read Aloud, Ham it Up, might also inspire you — especially if’s there’s a bit of the actor or actress in you.

We found that our own children looked forward to story time, and when we read stories to them during summer vacation, they would often round up their friends to join in. As we discussed the stories, it was easy to talk about the meanings of words they might not know, ask what they thought might happen next, ask why they thought a character behaved as he did, and so on.

Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone

Let’s  take some examples from a story you may remember from your own childhood : The Little Red Hen.

As you sit with the book in your lap and your child next to you, begin the story. The  process of making bread as it’s described here may be entirely new for your child, so you can talk about what the hen is doing and why. Here are some questions that would be perfectly natural:

  • What is the hen doing with the wheat? Why?
  • What other jobs does the hen need to do to make the bread?
  • What does the hen ask the other animals to do?
  • Do they want to help her do any of  the jobs?
  • Why do you think they don’t want to help her?
  • When the bread is ready to eat, do they want to help her eat it?
  • Does she let them? Should she have shared? Why or why not?

These questions will not only help you make sure the child is understanding the facts in the story — what’s happening, but also will let you know what the child is thinking about the story line itself. Does the child think the hen should have shared? Did the child think it wasn’t fair for the hen not to share? Does he see the point that the animals didn’t want to help with the work, but thought they were entitled to the result of the work whether they had helped or not? This involves higher thinking skills than just knowing what happened.

Almost any folk tale lends itself to a good discussion as you read it aloud. If you have a discussion like this several times a week when you read a story together, your child will naturally learn the comprehension skills they will later try to teach in school : main idea, figurative language, context clues, reading for detail, inference, cause and effect, drawing conclusions, fact or opinion, logic and reasoning, and predicting outcomes. If he can figure out the main idea orally, it will be easier to find it in a passage he reads in school, because he will know what a main idea is. He has learned that the main idea in The Little Red Hen is that those who do not want to help with the work should not expect to share in the results of the work. To see if they can apply this to other situations, you might ask them for examples of this same main idea in what they observe from life. (If a child won’t share his toys with others, should  he expect the others to share their toys with him?) You get the idea. Now, if you apply it, your child will be well on his way to improving reading comprehension later on.

What’s Happening to Communication?

What’s happening to personal communication? Will Facebook, Twitter, and texting limit the exchange of complex ideas?

I read in this morning’s paper that Facebook is aiming to make email obsolete in personal communication. Supposedly we are too busy to exchange long personal email and phone calls. Instead, we will tweet, email, and text short bits, and send all these communications to our Facebook page at the same time in a sort of one-click publishing  communication.

I’m wondering what has happened to thinking and real heart-to-heart or mind-to-mind communication. Must all our thoughts be reduced to 140 characters more or less? Perhaps the ugliness on the political scene is related to posting propaganda and talking points in 30 second sound bites and tweets thrown out at the world to whomever will listen instead of engaging each other in thoughtful face-to-face conversations.

Perhaps we do the same thing in personal conversations with family and friends. We laugh at the Zits comic strip as family members text each other, or text someone else while someone in the same room is attempting to have a conversation. But it really isn’t funny. People are tuning out those who are present in favor of those who are absent.

Supposedly the schools are trying to teach critical  thinking skills, but where do you use them in a Tweet or a Facebook post? Complex thoughts need complex sentences. Have our attention spans become so short we haven’t time for complex thoughts? For more than surface communication? No wonder people  cannot solve problems or reach consensus. It takes more than a few Tweets.