About three weeks ago this happened: Someone with a fan page on facebook posted on my fan page wall saying something along the lines of Hey there. Have your readers come see my page if they want great recipes for baking. This hit me Wrong. It seemed Spammy and kind of obnoxious. So I walked away for a bit, and then I came back. I responded to please not spam my page, and a few minutes later, the post was deleted. And life went on.
Then, last week it happened again. The same person left more or less the same post on my wall. This time, I did not walk away. I posted an Annoyed post regarding her post, and then I wandered over to her page and posted that I'd love for her to participate on my page and engage with me and my fans and then we would want to come and see what she is doing. And then I said that otherwise, her post was Spammy and Obnoxious.
Then my fans all validated my grumpiness (thanks for being supportive guys) on my Annoyed Post, and then her fans thought I was petty and then she apologized and, well, it was just uncomfortable and unpleasant for all involved. I deleted my post on her page. And then I posted on my page that I had let my grumpiness bleed over onto my page. Not being a fan of negativity, I was--and still am--very sorry to have perpetuated it. Most folks who commented said things like "You're only human," and "I'd worry about you if you were all sunshine all the time." And I appreciate that. None of us is perfect. I'm certainly not.
But I just couldn't stop thinking about this. I'm not losing sleep, but I have been considering this in the background, kind of like a virus scan running on my computer while I continue to work. And since I was thinking about the issue, I found Barbara's (@CreativCulinary's) post outlining her take on stealing recipes and giving credit where credit is due for words and photos. Or maybe it found me. Which got me thinking about some of my anthill-poking posts regarding the same issues and concerns.
And then I thought about All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.
You saw all the posters from a few years ago, right? (And the book, too). "Everything we need to know we learned in kindergarten." And then list a whole bunch of Rules and Directives that we probably all were taught, or at least exposed to, in kindergarten. Rules like these:
- Be nice.
- Hold hands.
- Apologize when you're icky.
- Tell the truth.
- Play fair.
- Clean up.
- No hitting.
This partial list paraphrased from Peace.ca
I also thought about The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you (or Ye if you're Olde Schoole) would have others do unto you. Or put a different way: Do not do unto others what you would not have others do to you. It's all about reciprocity. That we give what we want to get. That we don't give what we don't want to get. And that concept is Everywhere. But don't take my word for it. Watch this. It is well worth the 7-ish minutes it will take. Trust me. (My favorite is the one from Jainism, "A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated." I say wander about a lot).
And if you don't like to read a bunch of stuff, you can listen to this TEDTalk. I did. Worth it.
So, what do things I learned in kindergarten and The Golden Rule have to do with grumpiness on my fan page? A lot. I have to remember that everyone I know online is filtered (filters themselves) through an avatar/avatars and by their self-curating what they share, what and how they say things and the randomness of whether I happen to see each post/tweet/update, etc. I have to remember this because I'm the same way. Is my hair always this smashing shade of red? No. Is my hair sometimes all jacked up? Yes. Sometimes I work in my jammies or my stripe-y robe. Sometimes I feel pissy and grumpy, yet I still post "Good morning! Hope your day is smashing!" Why? Because it's more positive that posting, "Wow, what a crappy day." If I'm looking for things to bring me down, I can just watch the news.
And on top of that, it is often very difficult to convey tone in the short bursts of conversation that we have. That's why most folks, including myself, go exclamation point and emoticon crazy out here. I don't do it on the blog because here I am only limited by my (and more importantly, your) endurance, but on twitter and facebook, I am the queen of the one-two !-🙂 punch.
Being out in The Hinternets can be a pretty schizophrenic experience. If you have any web presence (kind of a pretentious term, but there you have it) at all, you probably know what I mean. Sometimes what Jenni would say is very different that what Pastry Chef Online or @onlinepastrychf might say. Or vice versa. In all honesty, it's about marketing. I'm selling my brand. We all are, whether that's what we call it or not. But it's also more than just that. It has to be. My real self needs to be The Boss of my online self. And the real me really does believe that we attract that to which we attend. If we focus on the negative, we get the negative. If we focus on the positive, we get the positive.
So, after four-ish years of blogging and learning and doing some stuff right and some stuff wrong, here's where I stand right now, in this moment.
- I will be nice.
- I will treat others the way I want to be treated.
- I will do my best to give credit where and when credit is due.
- I will Fess Up if I screw up, and I will apologize sincerely when I do.
- I will promote positivity; I will not perpetuate negativity.
- I don't like to be called out in public, so I won't be calling anyone else out. If someone has an Issue with me or with something I've done or said, I'd appreciate a private chat, so if I have an Issue with what someone else has done or said, I will message them privately.
- I want people to be kind and welcoming to me, so I will be kind and welcoming to others.
- I want to be given the benefit of the doubt, so I will give others the same.
- I will share.
- I'll hold your hand and help you if you need it, and I'll do it with a glad heart.
- I like to feel valued, so if you contact me via twitter/facebook/blog comment/email/forum, etc, I will do my best to respond so you know your comments and questions have value.
- If I don't have anything nice to say, I will not say anything at all.
- I like to feel like I matter, so I will treat others with respect and let them know that they matter to me.
- Before I say it, I'll think about how I'd feel if someone said it to me.
- Before I do it, I'll think about how I'd feel if someone did it to me.
If you've gotten this far, thanks for sticking with me. In a nutshell, this is where I stand right now regarding my responsibilities to myself and others in life in general and out here in particular. I'll end with a question.
Where do you stand?
I look forward to your input. Have a lovely day.