Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Social Media: Love It, Leave It or Use It.

Up here at the Old Place we know how to use things. When you have to hit something, you use a hammer, not a wrench. When you want to go fishing, you do not drive ole Fezzie into the lake, you hop in the boat and if someone needs a hand, we usually give them two!  The other day, Hannah said that she was thinking of quitting FB and going back to, "the lost art of letter writing." I know how she is feeling. The same thing used to gnaw at me sometimes. Hannah even gave up social media completely for lent this year.  What a gal!  A break from anything can be a good idea. It allows you to step back and reassess.  Social media. . . well, I believe that requires a different approach.

First, ask yourself, 'Why do I use social media?'  There are lots of reasons:
1. Personal: Keeping up with old friends and making new ones, in other words, being sociable.
2. Special Interests for Fun: Cars (You knew that would be first.), Sugar Gliders, Dogs, Food, Sports, Travel, Hobbies, Home and car repair.
3. Special Interest Practical: Professional networking, Promoting your business, Buying and Selling.
4. BATTLE!:  If you have seen the movie, Michael, you will understand the reference. This is for your politics and causes.

1 and 2 can mix, 1, 2 and 3 could mix but should not, and 4 should never mix with anything.  

I believe the thing to do with social media is to use IT, instead of letting IT use us. Take FB for example, if I see something I want to comment on, I start my own thread and see where it goes. I also look at a responder's profile and personal FB page before replying to them. If I find things that make me realize there is no point in including them, I delete them from the thread and block them. Of the ones you leave on the thread, if they go Kujo on you STOP and dump them, fast!  Do not let them pollute the waters with their poisons. The cool part is, YOU can still comment on their stuff if YOU want to, otherwise, put 'um in File 13.  (TIP:  If you do not respond directly, they will not be able to defeat your Block.)

Finally, remember, the church wants us to be an evangelist for the faith. Pappa Frances is Tweeting all the time for us to do this with love.  Here then is simple a process to follow when using social media:
1. Pray for God's grace to guide you. 
2. Read and reread your post for content. 
3. Read and reread your post for grammar and spelling. 
4. Post ONLY if you want to entertain or to make a positive difference in the lives of your readers. 
5. Never post to get "it" off your chest. You may feel better at first but not for the long haul.

So, What's It Got to Do With Safety?  
Keeping your business and personal life as separate as possible will keep the two from interfering with each other to your grief. You can apologize for a gaff made face to face, but a gaff on social media can explode, hurt or anger hundreds, cost you friendships, your job, even your professional standing.  Then, there goes your blood pressure!  Or you could slide on up to the Old Place, grab a cold drink, pour yourself into rocker (they are available) and work the crossword in the paper.  That's what I'm doing, sitting in a rocker at the Old Place, I am, Col. Jim.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Being Safe Matters

Up here at the Old Place we know who we are, and generally how to stay out of trouble.  I have often said that it is not necessary to ask anyone’s opinion up here because we know each other so well.  Which is why we find other people’s TV troubles, especially law suits are so entertaining. They are our only real chance to argue with each other.  Of course, not having a dog in the fight tends to make those arguments more academic, but hey I’ve seen a bottle of 100 year old Scotch change hands over a tabletop discussion! So when the Black Lives Matter folks got sued over the 2016 police shooting, out came the Scotch bottle and things got rolling pretty quick.

I started things off with this statement, "Purely from a safety standpoint, what did they think was going to happen?"  Roosevelt, our JAG lawyer reminded us that the law asks, “What would a Reasonable Person have expected to happen," and then asked, “When is violence and the fermenting of additional violence the likely outcome of an action?” Our retired Marine, Ruth was quick to cite the deaths of Bob Jones and Travon Martin, the assaults on Reginald Denny, and the riots in Ferguson. Our historian,Tim reminded everyone of the "peaceful outrage" over the removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans. The previous points were followed by several hypotheticals:  A Christian woman walks into a mosque and starts trying to save people.  Is she welcomed or thrown out?  An Auburn fan, waving his blue and orange, walks into Bryant-Denny Stadium for a 'Bama pep rally.  Welcomed or bodily thrown out?  I walk into the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. section at Daytona wearing my Jeff Gordon shirt. . . well I don't even want to think about it!  Some things you just don't do. By creating a group called, "Black Lives Matter" don't you automatically alienate all non-blacks?  To some, being alienated results in grumbling and FB rants, others start cleaning their guns.  (You will notice there are no groups called, "White Lives Matter, Native American Lives Matter or LGBT Lives Matter, and there damn sure isn't a group called, "Unborn Lives Matter!")  There is a general curiousity as to why they didn't call it, "African American Lives Matter or even "Colored Lives Matter?" The irony is, not even members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP like being referred to as "Colored."  It kind of reminds me of that Auburn fan.  Are Auburn fans, the Plainsmen or are they the War Eagles or are they the Tigers?  I am just an ignorant old Safety Man who long ago made peace with the world, but I am also a member of a brotherhood of folk who are experts on how to keep folk from getting hurt.  Please people, give one of us a call.

Sitting in a rocker at the Old Place, I am Col. Jim.