Facebook’s Lost Opportunity

nohTonight on Facebook, I’ve seen several people post that they’ve had enough of political posts. Some have said they’re sticking to cute animal videos. Some have said they’ll unfriend anyone who posts anything political. Some have said they’ll unfriend anyone who goes ugly or negative. Some have said they’ve had it all together and plan to get off of Facebook.

I’ve felt all of these things, not only since the election, but even before, as we became more and more divisive, and here’s why for me:

  • More and more comments on Facebook lead me to believe people don’t think it’s okay to disagree. If you think differently, you’re WRONG and it seems to give permission to tease or call names.
  • Facebook used to be a place where people shared photographs and commentary about their families, their lives, where they were traveling and even  what they were having for dinner–remember when we complained about that? But it’s been taken over by political commentary, memes and fake news posted by people who apparently think they’re going to “sway” our opinions.
  • I’m interested in what’s going on in our political world, and I have lots of opinions. But I don’t feel comfortable posting an article or opinion about something because I have family and friends on both “sides of the fence” and I don’t want to offend anyone. The thing is, my OPINION should not offend anyone. Yet, it does.
  • Finally, if I can’t be honest without offending, what’s the use of being on Facebook? What started out as a wonderful way to get to know people has devolved into a political battlefield.

So, some say the compromise is to drop the politics. I get that. I enjoy looking at the “lightness” as much as anyone and I often do. But I like knowing what other people think. And then there’s the problem that not everybody will drop the politics, so what we’ll be left with is people on both sides who feel it’s their mission to change our minds.

So, what am I going to do? I, too, have been tempted to leave Facebook all together. But it’s a great way for me to stay in touch with a lot of people at once, so leaving all together thought doesn’t appeal to me.

As best I can, I’m going to stay away from politics on Facebook. I can’t promise how successful I’ll be, but I’m going to try to keep my virtual mouth shut when it comes to politics.

That may feel like a “win” for those that will continue to post their nasty stories, memes and comments, but it’s not. My silence does not mean you’ve changed my mind.

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I’ll continue to post my thoughts on this blog and simply won’t share political posts on Facebook. (I welcome anyone interested to follow my blog so you won’t miss a single political episode.)

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And if you disagree with me? All the better. Leave me a comment. I like nothing more than discussing politics respectfully with someone with whom I disagree. I do it all the time with Steve, my daughter and some of my best friends. It’s how I was brought to the center from the right.

We could all learn something from each other, if we’d only listen. But we don’t seem to be able to do that on Facebook. And what a lost opportunity.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Southern Writers Magazine Giveaway

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I’m excited to announce my workbook, Creative Characterization, is being offered as part of a giveaway sponsored by Southern Writers Magazine.

Discover your characters’ secretes using exercises in this workbook, many I used to develop characters like Sachi, Nobu and Terrence from my historical fiction, The Red Kimono:

• Interviewing
• Describing Photos and Paintings
• Writing Letters
• Writing in a Different Point of View
• and more!

Click HERE by January 31 to enter!

Good luck!

 

Posted in Contest, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Haiku: The Power of Brevity

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I had the privilege of writing about one of my favorite topics in the January/February issue of Southern Writers Magazine – haiku!

I love to write haiku just for the sake of writing haiku. I even have a separate blog dedicated to the Japanese poetry form — Life: Haiku by Haiku.

But did you know there are many ways haiku can help you with other writing? I describe several techniques I’ve used in this month’s issue. Here’s a clip:

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If you’d like to read more and are not a current subscriber, I highly recommend Southern Writers for their consistently helpful articles in each bi-monthly issue. For more information on subscriptions, please click HERE.

And of course, if you have any questions on any of these techniques, feel free to leave a comment!

Posted in Haiku, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Naughty or Nice?

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Remember the lyrics to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town?”

He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

And remember how nice you tried to be, especially around Christmas time, lest you be left off of Santa’s list?

Well, just for fun, I made a list of the nice and naughty things I did this year:

Nice

  • I tried to see things through others’ eyes.
  • I practiced “letting go.”
  • I posted more positive stories than negative stories.
  • I joined a sprinting group, which has greatly increased my daily word count—from pretty much ZERO over the last several months to 800-1200 words per day.
  • I planned a surprise trip to New York for Steve’s 60th birthday.

The nicest thing I did all year: In a year filled with raw emotions, I was (outwardly 🙂 ) respectful toward those with whom I disagreed. (And when I couldn’t be, I kept my mouth shut.) Benefit: In almost every instance, the person with whom I disagreed also responded respectfully.

Naughty

  • I didn’t always speak up when I wanted to. (In fact, that happened too often. I don’t like conflict.)
  • I was not always as compassionate as I should have been.
  • I was often too distracted by social media to fulfill goals—like writing more and reading more.
  • I was a news junkie.
  • I didn’t exercise as much as I should have. (But I have a new FitBit, and that helps!)
  • I didn’t call my dad as much as I should have. Nor did I visit Santa Fe or Tulsa as much as I should have.

The naughtiest thing I did all year: Well, of course, I can’t tell you that. 🙂 Haha! Just kidding. Not sure about naughty, but one of my biggest flaws is my tendency to overthink and assume instead of living in the moment. Consequence: Often, in hindsight, the concerns/fears wrought by my “assumptions” never came to fruition. And I may never know what new experiences I missed because my “overthinking” prevented me from doing something.

All I can say is, I must have been on Santa’s “Nice” list, because a little elf told me he’s bringing me something very nice this Christmas. But, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

What’s on your Naughty or Nice list this year?

Posted in Advent Calendar, Christmas | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

I have lots of favorite Christmas carols, like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which I wrote about for Advent Day 3.

But a few days ago, I was thinking that there aren’t many new Christmas songs I like. Maybe it’s because of all the memories gathered over the decades of my life that were surrounded by the old standards.

But there are a couple of new Christmas songs I like, and one that always comes to mind is Chris Rea’s “Driving Home for Christmas.”

Its mix of words and melody brings back the feeling of trips home I’ve made–the anticipation of “getting my feet on the holy ground.”

Do you have a favorite contemporary Christmas song?

Posted in Advent Calendar, Christmas, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments