Today, August 14th, is the day that Frank Eliason proposed to be “Positively Social.” With so much extreme negativity and blatantly inappropriate attacks on others via social media, Frank wanted us all to take a day to be #PositivelySocial. This doesn’t mean that we only pat each other on the backs and are talking about the positive things; it means that we try to move to a place of greater understanding.
I am glad to be a part of #PositivelySocial and to share some thoughts about that. I hope that this day impacts some of the people who really need to evaluate their motivations around being social…are they operating in the social space to be a part of the conversations, to contribute, to stimulate thought or just to be mean and vicious?
I really enjoy social media and the connections that I have made over the past few years. I have been able to form friendships, to learn and to broaden my horizons. It is largely a positive experience for me. Although, there have been times where I have witnessed people going on the attack against others and it upsets me.
Recently there have been several issues surrounding the Olympics and Olympic athletes. Many of these athletes are children…yes, children. When they don’t perform the way some expect or even do their hair a certain way, people go on the attack. People who aren’t even considering that their comments are painful to those CHILDREN. Even for the athletes who are adults, they are humans who should not be disrespected for any reason. We should celebrate their accomplishments and the fact that they made it to the OLYMPICS. I am in awe of every Olympic athlete and realize that even though the media may portray them in a god-like way, they are human just like the rest of us…that is what makes their accomplishments so amazing.
Yesterday, I watched an interview on the Today show with the 12-year-old boy who appears in a Nike commercial that aired during the Olympics. He was so articulate and so inspirational. He has been attacked personally because of his weight…he’s 12…did I mention that? In the commercial he’s running…one foot in front of the other…showing determination, courage and a willingness to change. He’s inspired me to get moving more often and I am sure that he’s inspired others. What good does it do to try to knock him down or even to attack Nike for putting him in the ads? I think that they did the right thing and I hope to see people rally around them. The 12-year old said that, “the haters are motivators.” What if we all took his approach to be more determined to do the right thing in a positive way? Imagine the possibilities. (And no, I am not involved with Nike, although I do own some of their shoes.)
Today I encourage everyone to try to take a minute, think before you type or even speak…evaluate your motivation…I hope that you’re coming from a positive place and that you want to move the world to a positive place. I know it sounds like more rhetoric, but do we believe that because it’s true or because it’s what we’ve been told over and over? Together we have the power to change our world.
Join in #PositivelySocial today by using the hashtag to note those things that you see that are “Positively Social.” I am excited to see how we can talk about things in a more civil and understanding manner…even when we don’t agree.