The Power Of Social Media
A major disaster with Mother Nature throwing all her toys out of the pram has hit the UK. Massive amounts of flooding in Somerset as well as Wales, Gloucester and the Thames Valley. The coastline has been battered, high tides unlike any we have ever seen, and high winds taking down power lines.
A mixture of global warming, badly managed farm land, poor Government policies and lack of communication and facts from the Environment Agencies all round lead to a disaster in many places with houses that have never flooded before, being abandoned as flood waters rise to over 8ft with cars barely visible on the roads and farmers having to evacuate cattle in their hundreds. Wildlife is dying, railway lines ripped away from their foundations with gale force winds causing waves across countryside that has never experienced anything so catastrophic.
Photo: JAMES DADZITIS/SWNS.com
Social media is either amazing and uplifting or condemning at times like this, depending on which posts you chose to read. I am no Politician, and although I have lived in Somerset all my life, all the ins and outs of who was to blame for this disaster became quite a blur. Everyone has a different opinion on who is to ‘blame’. Everyone has a different perspective. All I could see yesterday was a sea of anger, rather than people pulling together and dealing with it. Naturally this was very traumatic for all concerned and I have no doubt that having to leave your home must be the worse possible thing, it is your haven. I have great sadness for the wildlife that had been killed and the people who would be homeless for many months, some of whom were my friends.
At the beginning I started to share tweets about imminent weather warnings and road closures during the days of the worse weather. I could help by sharing posts on Face Book of people needing coordination to help evacuate animals and bring in food and sandbags. I saw the good in people and how fast social media could get a relief effort moving so quickly. Then it became apparent that there was much anger….
On reading comments on posts that I saw as useful and good, I became saddened that people just wanted to blame others. I ‘liked’ a comment by someone who had mentioned that help was actually coming and being pledged but people were still moaning.
I woke this morning to an in box message from someone who I didn’t know, who had actually had nothing better to do that look at who had ‘liked’ that post and had messaged me to shout obscenities at how could I like such a post! They made assumptions as to why I had ‘liked’ it. Were they so full of anger they were venting at anyone? Who knows their reasons, but the instant reaction I felt was anger too. I was upset and angry that someone could use words in that way, without thinking and without actually knowing me. Remember I had not made a comment on this Face Book post, I had just clicked ‘like’ after someone else commented. Not the main post. The main post was about help coming to those who needed it….
From just a ‘click’ this sparked someone to rant at me. I had to take a moment and be mindful. I had to check in and feel this emotion in my body. Then when I was ‘clear’ I could decide what to do. Ignore it? Justify it? I was so upset that these words from someone I didn’t know could hurt so much. Just words, but hurtful as they were making assumptions.
I chose to reply. What I replied with is of no consequence here, but in my reply I was impeccable with my word. What the recipient chose to do with that was up to them. They chose not to reply. The hardest part for me, was not taking their comment personally. Very difficult to do.
Let it go. Allowing emotions like this to fester will cause disharmony within your body, but acknowledging it is important. We are all human.
I chose to go back and focus on all the amazing posts on Face Book of help being given, animal feed and pet supplies being shipped in convoys from all over the country.
Like this photo of a pet food convoy sent down from the north, posted on FLAG FaceBook Group Page by Belinda Roskell.
Farmers are giving all their help to others with tractors and trailers moving sandbags and the Dutch arrived with massive pumps to help clear the waters away.
I accept that people feel anger, it is their choice and I am sure that if I was little closer to the flooded areas I would be feeling that too, but I was still saddened that everyone was looking for someone to blame despite help being sent in very quickly, although not quickly enough for some. If you focused on the good, and by that I mean the good work that the communities were doing to get help in, rather than making assumptions as to why help wasn’t being sent in by the Government then the dynamics would change. Unless we know all the facts making assumptions is all we can do.
People are demanding help, and answers. Assumptions were being made and with good reason, but there has to be a point when you choose to stop blaming and decide to use the energy elsewhere.
It doesn’t matter if you post a comment on a media site, or speak directly to someone, be impeccable with your word and do what your elders taught you – THINK before you Speak. If you just take a moment, think, and are impeccable with your word, hopefully the words spoken cannot be taken out of context.
In the grand scheme of the intricate weaving of the universe, if I hadn’t clicked that ‘like’ button, chapter 9 of my book would not have been written today, with a personal experience relating directly to the modern ways of using your word. Social Media. Love it or hate it, we have it. Use it for the good of the planet, not for being abusive and wasting valuable energy. But then again, that is what people do, they choose how they use it. Venting your spleen can be a good thing, but when someone vents at you, don’t take it personally.
We are all different.