This Seemingly Innocent FB Post taught me a lesson today…
Do you use Facebook? Yup – me too!
Have you ever “Liked” someone’s seemingly innocent FB post? Or have you liked a post/comment that seemed odd or slightly out of character—without really giving it a second thought or asking what the comment was all about? Yup – me too!
An Innocent FB Post… With An Overwhelming Response!
And Then This Happened…
I received a Direct Message from the person whose post I “Liked” and this is what it said: (I had to break it into 2 images to screenshot the entire post).
So what do you do? Do you ignore it? Do you play along?
I was slightly confused as to how this was creating “Autism Awareness”, and yet the fact of the matter was:
- I “Liked” a post
- I received the message, which mentioned Autism Awareness, which made me think about my friends who have family members with Autism.
- I was asked to participate to keep “Autism Awareness” going
- And then I made my Post!
Whether it was the right or wrong thing to do, or whether it would create the awareness for Autism that people were expecting, I for one did not expect what happened next…
After reading the list of statements to choose from (for making my post), I opted for one that I could potentially see happening one day. I love Food, and I love Cooking, and I love Experimenting with food, so the natural choice was “I’ve been accepted on Master Chef”!
A bold statement and lofty goal for sure, but it was just an innocent post—Right? I closed my phone and didn’t give it a second thought—Until…
This morning, my husband asked me, “What is Master Chef?” I quickly responded by saying “Oh! Don’t Like that post! It’s a post I made in support of Autism Awareness.” George kind of chuckled, and advised me that my little post (I hadn’t looked at FB yet) had received quite a bit of attention; with people congratulating me, asking me what episode I’ll be in, what I prepared at the audition, and so much more!
Just listening to some of the comments (for which I later read – every single one of them), I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed, and wondering what in the heck I had just done! Although we laughed at the situation I managed to put myself in—deep down, I wasn’t feeling so great, or thinking it was so funny! I seriously had no clue as to how I was going to respond. I didn’t think that an innocent post would garner so much attention. And I certainly was not going to direct message 100+ people to give them the “Rules of Play” of this “2017 Autism Awareness Game” !
I tried to put it out of my mind for just a little, while we got on with our morning Yoga & Meditation routine. But then my phone started ringing, and a message popped up on my phone asking for an interview (my phone was Air-Playing my Fitstar Yoga App at the time). All I could think was OMG – this is getting out of hand – what in the world am I going to do? And to top it off, I think I’m in need of another Meditation session (with some serious deep breathing).
Over another espresso, we discussed the situation further, to help me determine how to handle the odd predicament I had gotten myself into. What would be the best way for me to respond?
- The first step was to call my Media contact back (Jeannine Taylor of kawarthaNOW.com was quick to inquire about an Interview), and openly and honestly explained the situation. To my relief she, completely understood. We chatted about how a similar situation had happened to her too, and that now—being so closely connected with the Media, with a large following, and being a person of Influence; she is far more careful about what she posts on Social Platforms.
- Next; I made an update on Facebook:
- And then I set out to write this post to “Disclose All”
After deliberating on what to say, and taking the time to write this post (in retrospect – there may have been a better way to handle the situation and more details I could have shared), I’m personally still in awe as to the number of responses I received on a single post.
This innocent post taught me a few lessons today…
I am a person of Influence, and you are a person of Influence too! Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have influence over others—everyone is a person of influence in someone else’s eyes. People are always watching what we do, listening to what we say, and more often than we realize—they are learning from us too!
What else did I take away from today:
- When in doubt—Go with your gut instinct…
- Be mindful of not just yourself, but of others too!
- If it doesn’t make sense now—it might not later either.
- Time is precious, use it wisely (and learn from it).
- Be accountable for your actions—be honest!
- We all have a Voice (and we have the power to share it)!
As individuals, and as community members; we need to take a greater responsibility for what we openly share on Social Media. We need to ask ourselves some questions before we post:
- Am I representing myself (my family, my organization) honestly, and in a positive manner?
- Am I being offensive or offending anyone (particular group) with the content I’m sharing?
- Am I okay with anyone (and everyone) seeing this content?
- Is what I’m about to post appropriate to share on Social Media, or is there a better way to communicate what I have to say?
It’s okay to say NO!
It’s okay not to comply with the so-called set out “Rules of Play”!
It’s Your Choice!
I’ve seen this posted several times lately on Facebook by some of my Friends, and I think it’s something that I’ll be posting too:
Dear Facebook Friends.
I don’t want to offend anyone and appreciate your sentiments and pure intentions, but I would appreciate not being sent any more chain messages via Messenger. I have not forwarded any of them on.
Not only do they consume a lot of time, they eat up data and can be destructive. I no longer forward any of them.
Thank you for reading. Your understanding is appreciated!
Although, what happened to me was not a chain message—it would have been a very time-consuming task to Message back every person that “Liked, Commented, or Shared” my post, had I followed the “Rules of Play”.
Sadly, this whole ordeal has still taken up a greater part of my day than I’d like to admit. And yet I’m smiling, and breathing much easier than I was earlier this morning. Why is that you ask? Because through it all I have discovered that whether it was the right or wrong thing to do… in the end, only I can make it right!
My innocent post: “I’ve been accepted on Master Chef” was meant to generate “Autism Awareness” – so here we go!
Here’s a few interesting facts about Autism (that you may or may not know):
- Definition: Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
- Autism is also referred to as ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder, and there are many different degrees and types of Autism – Asperger’s Syndrome is included in the Autism Spectrum.
- Autism is reportedly more common among boys than girls (by almost 4 to 1)
- Autistic symptoms are often challenging to determine in children younger than 18 months
- The exact cause of ASD is unknown – it’s complex and may be a result of a genetic predisposition, environmental factors or other unknown factors.
- Early detection of Autism (between 12-18 months of age), combined with intensive therapy treatments, may help rewire the child’s brain, and potentially reverse some of the symptoms related to their ASD
- Children and adults alike with ASD can be extremely smart and/or creative individuals (but may have a challenge expressing themselves).
There’s so much we all can learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Today was an eye-opening day. Who knew that my day would be filled with so many lessons transpiring from sharing what I thought was a single, simple, innocent Facebook post!
How about you – have you been caught in a similar situation that you’ve felt compelled to respond to?