I am not sure if 2020 will go down as a crowning jewel moment for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. I use all four…a lot. I say it’s because of my on-air job. To maximize the reach of the radio station, I recently signed up for Snapchat in a bar during happy hour. I’m a go-getter. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my glasses. I wanted the screen name tmoneyyo, but I am known as tmoneyyp. Always double check the spelling!
Anyway, there seems to be an increased amount of negativity and polarization this year. I signed up for all these platforms to add something to the value and quality of my life. I’m not sure it has this year. I should probably point out I just watched the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”, so my world view on this topic may be a bit distorted right now. I keep thinking of Silicon Valley’s goal to get more of my attention this year and I believe they have.
So, I’d like to share my favorite social media moment. It happened about 4 years ago. I was having a bad day. I guess it was a precursor to the year 2020. My oldest son Trey and I had a “run-in” with a shopper at the mall. The details aren’t super important in this space. To summarize, she was mean and didn’t understand challenges my son faced with his autism. Hey, she probably didn’t know anyone at the time with autism. For some reason, this situation really got under my skin.
I wanted to “light her up” on Facebook and feel better. I am so glad I didn’t. An earlier conversation popped into my head at the moment. My co-worker and pal Candice Nash many times has said “Be nice to people who may be having a bad day…they may have just purchased a casket and you may be seeing them on their worst day. You never know.” Man, that line always stays with me. So, I ran back to my vehicle and posted a challenge on Facebook.
I asked my friends at the Tony N Candice page on Facebook, to please do something nice for a stranger even if they are not very nice to you. To this day, it has been the most popular post I’ve ever authored. As it turns out, positivity triumphs over negativity. It just seems like the loud, angry posts get more attention. Sometimes, you must look a little harder for the beauty in a situation that can really get under your skin.
As I write this, I really do hope the woman who was very unpleasant to me and my son had something great happen to her later in the day.
If we have learned anything this year, our fuse may be shorter than ever, and a healthy dose of empathy and compassion goes a long way.
Do something nice. Be kind. Shine a light on your social media today. Bonus points if you log off and shine a light on an individual who might be having their worst day.
By Tony Michaels