Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When Sharing Isn’t Caring Anymore

This post is from Melissa, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook groups, forums and blogs that deal with fitness or fitness instructors. Something happened in many of the Zumba-related ones last week and it got me thinking about how the power of social media can be used in both good and bad ways. It also got me to thinking that conversations can get ugly, fast.

Without rehashing a situation that has since been resolved, the issue was about this year’s ZIN convention; to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of ZIN, the home office would allow non-licensed family, friends and others to attend the convention for an additional cost.

A seemingly good idea to some was met a lot of anger. For the record, I didn’t like the idea, but that isn’t what this column is about. My background is as a journalist and social media manager so I tend to look at a post’s bigger picture rather than just the topic at hand.

Since we’re talking about health and fitness, and in this case our favorite form of exercise and stress relief, I think we have to be extra sensitive online. I’m certainly not trying to police what other people say, but I’d like to offer some friendly and gentle advice on ways to better utilize forums when a sensitive topic comes up.

1 – Read (and re-read) the ENTIRE initial post to make sure you are clear on what is being asked or presented. A lot of times, people who are commenting on an initial post haven’t really read the whole post or even bothered to click on a link before registering a response. This can create rash judgements and misunderstandings and threads can get out of hand quickly.

2 – Be respectful to what others are saying, even if you disagree. Calling each other names or insulting someone because they don’t feel like you do or think differently is cyber bullying!

3 – Stay on topic. Too many posts rehash old arguments or turn into one-on-one battles and that solves nothing.

4 – Agree to disagree and walk away friends. This is probably the hardest thing to do. We all have our opinions and sometimes we won’t persuade others to our side but that doesn’t mean we’re right or wrong.

5 – Remember that all caps indicates yelling so when a post is typed that way, the reader automatically gets defensive.

6 – Be professional in everything you post, even in a closed group. I am not saying to be dishonest if you are truly upset but try to use the rule that if you wouldn’t address your students or colleagues that way, then maybe you shouldn’t post that way either. Remember, anyone can copy and paste and send to whomever they want.

7 – Try not to dismiss anyone’s comment by patronizing them. Saying things like “aren’t we all just supposed to share love?” can be frustrating and make others feel like they’re not being heard.

I welcome your thoughts and until next time, be healthy!

1 comment:

  1. Fist following. If this cld fit on a T-shirt i wld wear every day. .will be reading ur blog daily.