Day 38 – Having an Opinion is not a Good Thing

Today, I posted something on Facebook about how some people call themselves Christians and do anything but.  Essentially, just like the Muslim extremists they are always complaining about, they have kidnapped God to serve their purposes.  I can guarantee, this is not going to be a liked post on my page.  In fact, I am kind of shocked that five minutes later, one person already pressed the like button.  The reason why I am surprised is because having an opinion is not a good thing in most cases.

What do I mean?  If you don’t follow the herd, you are wrong.  I can’t help it.  I am smiling as I hit publish.  I can only imagine my dad cringing while secretly being very proud of what I posted.  You see, my dad used to live in fear of every time I posted something like this, because he was worried that I might lose my job for having an opinion. Deep down, he loved that I wrote the way I did and that I was not afraid to say it.  Still, he was worried about my future.  This, in the simplest fashion, is the point of this post.  We have come to the point where we have no right to have a different opinion than the majority.

I no longer work for anyone else.  I am starting my own business.  I run my business like I run my marriage.  My husband and I don’t agree politically, in fact, we are complete opposites politically.  I respect his opinion and I believe he respects mine (we’ve been together for 30 years, married 28.  I have to assume he at least tolerates my opinion).  The thing is this:  if you cannot respect my opinion when you disagree with me, or my religious or political point of view, I don’t want to do business with you.  This is not impossible to achieve.  I am surrounded by friends and business associates who don’t agree with me.  We all agree to disagree.  We all have our beliefs.  There is nothing wrong with not being the same.  If we were all the same, this would be a very boring world.

Will there be times when we move towards a common goal?  Yes.  We all agree on charity work.  I decided to start doing walkathons.  I can get in shape while getting funds for different charities I believe in.  My friends, Republicans and Democrats alike, donate to my efforts and watch my Live videos when I am on the trail.

Sometimes, we disagree.  That is OK too.  Look, not everyone likes chocolate.  I cannot understand them.  I am, after all, a chocoholic.  That does not mean I am going to buy a gun and shoot them, unfriend them or treat them like crap.  WE can all have different opinions.  We can all believe different things.  The world is not going to end just because you and I don’t see eye to eye on everything.

You might be wondering what I wrote that caused all these emotions.  You can read it from here and tell me if you agree.  Seems to me the world is a little hostile at the moment.  I want it to be less violent and more amicable.  Is that too much to ask?

What do you think we can do?  Leave your comment below and share with your friends so that we can start a real conversation.

Who Are You, Honestly?

I was chatting with an old friend last night through Facebook and I discovered she was facing some dramatic situations in her life.  She mentioned that people always thought she had the perfect life and had no idea what she was going through.  That made me think about the personas we chose to publish on social media and inspired the question:  Who are you, honestly?

We all want to put our best foot forward.  We don’t want to let reality disrupt the brand we are creating online.  And yet, we all have challenges.  Those challenges usually make us better people.  If nothing else, the challenges are what makes us.

There is a difference between posting positive thoughts and just covering a situation.  I love posting positive videos, positive messages and hoping that the things I share go viral.  They are not my creations, usually they are videos or reports of other people doing remarkable things.  What I want to create is a world where we tell the media that what we want is more positive and less negative things.  This is my way of contributing to this ideal.

I don’t usually say anything about my personal life online.  That begs the question what am I covering up?  I’m not covering anything.  If you read my blog, you know I struggle with my weight and my health, I have five novels in several stages of writing but have not finished any of them, I like my job and I want more out of my life.  More importantly, I want to help women between the ages of 40 and 60 to put themselves first and accomplish all their dreams.

I have a blog and I am brutally honest about my life here.  So to me, my social media accounts are to share other people’s triumphs, and sometimes my blog posts.  What do we know about you?  You have beautiful pictures with great smiling faces, always having a good time.  What do we really know about you?

I wish we could be honest.  The main reason is obvious.  I love to help people.  I can’t help you if I don’t know you need help.  I can’t be a support if I don’t know what is going on.  Now don’t take me wrong.  I don’t want to see a bunch of whiners on my feed now.  What I am saying is that I want to see the real you, the person that had a great day yesterday and today lost an opportunity, the person that won a tennis match two days ago and today got a flat tire.  I want reality.

What do you think?  Do you want more honesty in social media?  Do you want to feel the freedom of being you?  Leave your comment below.

The Only Rule to Follow

The most interesting thing happens whenever my father sees my Facebook.  Invariably, he will find some “potentially problematic thing I have posted or shared that can get me in trouble with my job” and that he points out to clearly stop me from doing it again.  It is amazing what each generation considers inappropriate.  And yet, whenever I write, post, share or like, there is something I always do.  The only rule to follow for me in social media is to never post something that I would not share if I know my parents are watching. 

Here’s the thing.  I know my dad sees everything I post on Facebook.  My own system is really simple.  I don’t indulge stupidity, racism or any kind of ignorance.  I do not allow for my friends to insult each other.  I do love a good debate.  I do not use any offensive language myself and I have only shared three memes with a curse word in them.  Trust me, the people those were directed at deserved it.

Still, every generation feels entitled to know what constitute offensive or potentially embarrassing.  Here are my examples:

1)  If you are planning to become a lawyer, an accountant or an investment banker, perhaps you should erase that picture of you drinking straight out of the keg.

2)  If you are an active church member, maybe it would be good for you to sort out those pictures of you in a micro mini.

3)  Planning to marry a politician?  Perhaps those posts about your favorite Erotica novels should be reserved to the delete file.

Mind you, if those things have been on social media for a while, there is a high possibility that somebody has it somewhere in their computer.  If you are smart, you don’t allow those images on your profiles from the beginning and then you have to be really good at Public Relations to minimize any damage.  If you have real friends, they will keep your secret.  If you can use it to your advantage, on one of those, errors of the youth kind of posts, you should issue a preemptive strike on a post, before your future is here and someone wants to shame you publicly.

For the rest of us, the lesson is simple.  The most uncommon valuable thing in life is common sense.  Like I said in the beginning.  If you are about to post something you wish your parents or grandparents did not see, maybe it would be a good idea to keep it to yourself.

Do you have other examples of potentially dangerous things that we should not post on social media?  Leave your examples below.