In a generation fueled by the advancement of technology, we experience social and emotional learning unlike anyone before us! While before, behavior was almost completely a product of one’s surroundings, today, we can absorb a demeanor that is entirely foreign to our community. We are like sponges to the world around us! Social media has a huge impact on our lives, for it connects us to the world and gives us a glimpse into the lives of all kinds of people.
It is imperative that we are picky with what comes into our line of sight. Just because it’s on the internet does not mean you have to look at it! When reading or contributing to the world wide web, think about a few things:
- Is what I’m reading/saying really true?
I know it can be easy believing those Twitter tales and Facebook fables that spark a fire in your heart, but take the time to fact check sources and get the true story. This is especially essential when dealing with current events or news stories. The internet is not policed, and users are not obligated to tell the truth! Before sharing something, check and make sure that it is true!
- Is it kind?
If something is not kind, why actively read or share it? If it is offensive to you or to someone else, the best plan of action is to report it and scroll away! There is already so much hate in the world, so try and be the good you want to see!
- Does it matter?
When I took that internet quiz to find out what my spirit animal was, I thought I would get something exciting like a lion. That website must’ve been broken, because it claimed I was an iguana! I could email the quiz maker and throw a fit, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we have the power to decide who we are and how we will carry ourselves!
Although it’s nice to flood our information superhighways with positivity, it is smarter to cultivate positive emotional wellness through effective behaviors against negativity. As 4-H’ers, we want to lead by example. If you are making extra efforts to know the truth, be kind, and pay attention to what matters, your peers will take note of that. Let’s work together to ensure the message we’re sending is a good one!