Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Promoting Positivity

You've probably seen people's posts around the Internet about how rather than creating New Year's Resolutions this year they decided to think about one word or three words or something similar to guide their year. As someone who is more into "goals" than "resolutions" (because resolutions are typically not very specific whereas goals are), I like the idea of having a word or a few to think about throughout the next year. So I thought for a few days about my word (or words) and I was having a hard time coming up with anything specific.

Last week a fellow blogger, great writer, future published author, previous guest poster, and amazing Dad, Doyin from Daddy Doin' Work, had a photo that went viral. It was all over MSN, Yahoo News, everywhere. And other media outlets took notice. He was on Katie Couric, the Today show, radio programs, and even Headline News on CNN. His message through his photo was two fold: 1) both moms and dads can rock out with every day home activities such as brushing hair, and 2) dads aren't bumbling morons when it comes to kids and should be involved in every level of parenting. As I watched his media storm unfold, I smiled to myself and thought, "You go dude. Rock on." Then I went on Facebook and Twitter and saw some people happy for him and some other people posting things such as, "Apparently I need to take pictures of myself while doing dishes and juggling two babies so I can be on CNN too." My response to the latter posts was an eye roll and a cranky scowl. "I am so tired of people's negativity," I thought.

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net "Pointing Positives On Blackboard" by Stuart Miles
Positivity for the win!

And then I had my "words" epiphany. It was simple really, and something I've thought about for the past six months or so. I am tired of negativity and people's "crankypants" (as I call it) Internet behaviors. I'm tired of their face-to-face crankypants behaviors too, but there's less I can do about those people typically. I've noticed that people are very open to being crankypants on the Internet though, be it because they're "anonymous" or because they're not saying something to someone's face. I see some comments people make on personal and professional pages on Facebook, for example, and I think, "If you were standing talking to this person would you say these things?! No. You wouldn't. You'd either smile and nod or you'd leave. You would never go into a store and yell at an employee that their products are crap and that their business ethics are sh*t, would you? Probably not. You'd stop shopping there. But you'll go onto their business' page and type in all caps about how bad their products are."

I'm tired of that. My family always followed the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" idea for these types of things, and I abide by that. But if I have to say something "not nice," I'll do it in private (and typically have previously except in one instance where a fast food chain pissed me off). People deserve respect. Even if you haven't gotten any (respect) today, that doesn't mean you should be crankypants about or to someone else.

So my words are "promote positivity." That's what I'll be meditating on for the year and what I'll be focusing on in my parenting, my work, AND in my social media experiences. For me, that means that I'll be attempting to surround myself with other positive people. If a blogger I follow consistently posts crankypants things about other bloggers or people, I'll un-like them. I don't need to see that crap. You can go elsewhere with that negativity. If a friend (or even family member) is consistently cranky in their online world, I'll be un-friending or unfollowing them. I won't be reading comments on business pages. I won't be reading comments on news articles. All the places that crankypants people come out? I won't be there. Where will I be? I'll be reading people who write uplifting words. Promote positivity in your world.

Did you think of one or three words to guide 2014 for you? What were they? How are you implementing that? To leave a comment, click "0 Comments" below and the comment box will appear (we're working to fix that by the way).

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net "Pointing Positives On Blackboard" by Stuart Miles