You know, every time I log on to Facebook I’m reminded of exactly why I very intentionally have signed off. It’s just not the healthiest place for me to be. It serves its purpose of staying connected and picture sharing with loved ones far away, but is best kept as a very limited part of my life.
Several days ago I shared this article about the drug-free birth of Kate Middleton. I was, and still am, thrilled at the media attention this might stir up for those of us who are passionate about drug-free birthing. It is always great to normalize what some people consider an “out there” choice. But…some nastiness arose. Now, those of you who read my blog have come to know where I stand on a lot of topics and know the tone I bring here. I welcome other opinions and love sharing for the sake of learning but I will never tolerate judgment or negativity.
But I got to thinking about what happened and what the core of the problem really is and I’ve come up with a question that solves my own question. If that makes any sense at all. & that question is:
Why do we share information?
At the heart of most internet conflicts, I think this question is of paramount importance.
What is the intention of the writer?
Now here, I share to inspire. I share because I am passionate. I share because I want to help you or encourage you, by giving you insight or tools or new ways to solve problems. A different way to think, based on experiences I have had or things I have done or made.
When I write anything here I make a very deliberate choice to share the positive perspective. For example, “I like green.” I don’t say that I hate red and red makes me angry and I’d really not care to ever look at it again (partially true, but I digress). I choose to share that I like green. That I like green because…blah blah blah. Taking the positive perspective completely sets the tone of the discussion. My intention is never to say I like green and you should too. And if you don’t you are wrong and further, you should feel bad because you like red and I don’t. Such a simple analogy, but it is exactly what happened over on my styleberry facebook page. & it makes me just want to shut it down because I just don’t like the internet behavior sometimes–I give respect and expect it back. I have good intentions.
But I’ve learned, not all women are like me. & I am pretty naive if I think that this kind of courtesy is the norm. It is probably not their fault–there are a lot of places on the internet where you can find judgment and criticism and nastiness. My site is not one of those, and never will be.
If I have learned anything since I have tried to figure out how to minimally incorporate facebook into my life (both personally and professionally) it’s to ask myself this question again & again: Why do I share information?
On my blog, as stated above, it’s easy to share because I know exactly what I aim to do with the content. My styleberry page is no different than my blog, I share to educate, inspire, inform etc. & that is that. You’ll notice I’ve dropped off managing it a bit because the conflict that arises is just not worth my energy. I’m fairly certain that a lot of people over there never come here. & that is fine, but I hold myself & those around me (and those on styleberryBLOG and the styleberry facebook page) to standards and I will not compromise them. We will be kind and supportive and helpful. Period.
So maybe this is a learning experience for all of us. I’ll think even more before I share stuff. Personally and professionally, and decide what it is, exactly, I would like in return for what I share. I also know that I cannot control how my well intentioned information is going to be received, and that is part of what I have to expect when I choose to share so much. So if you’re with me in this well intentioned journey, I am thrilled to have you. :) The internet just needs to be a nicer place. Dammit.
& then, moments after I finished this article, I read this one: I support you. EXACTLY. As it applies to any mommy topic. Enjoy. :)
Images from a recent trip to the amazing San Antonio Botanical Gardens, my favorite place in the city!