I have found that Facebook can be a great place to share your thoughts, photos, videos and make new friends. However it can be destructive as well. When the internet was first created, many of us that adopted the new technology would post on a Forum. The forums were a great place to find answers to problems, but the nature of these forums allowed bullies to take charge of a discussion and basically have fun attacking the posters.
Years later those same bullies found a home on social media sites, like My Space, which was replaced by Facebook. We go on, talk to people we don’t know at all who are now our “Friends” and share sometimes the most intimate details of our lives. We have been told that this is not smart, because the internet is now even more dangerous than ever before. Hackers, Bullies, Crooks, Sex-Offenders and others have found a home.
You shouldn’t share photos of your children, bad people will steal them and use them in a nefarious way. Posting you are going on vacation leaves you open to theft in your home while you are away. Saying you support a cause, a person, a political figure, well makes you the target of those that have different views and trying to defend yourself on these posts is a never-ending journey of words and meanings of words you have said and many of them are hurtful and not necessary. It is easy to place blame and easy to use hurtful words, but it is smarter to state your point of view in an intelligent and thoughtful way before hitting the POST button.
My Career in Communications
I have been a photojournalist for over 25 years with an extensive career in sales, marketing and corporate communication. I thought I had seen it all, but each day that goes by and I actively publish my work on my online publications and on social media, I realize I have to hold myself back. I need to be more of the moderator rather than the participant. As those of you that are on the Hazlet News group or other area groups know, I have directed my energies to the town of Hazlet and ways we can improve the way we communicate with each other. I do not get paid for my services, I do not ask for favors, I don’t ask for accolades, I am trying to give back to a town I have lived in and loved for over 40 years.
Better Communications – The Hazlet News
I realized that the towns website could use some updating and volunteered my services at no cost to help refresh and overhaul it so it could better serve the town. Apparently the township didn’t feel the same way as I did so I decided I would start the Hazlet News. The goal was to educate people through articles, photos and videos on ways to improve and maintain their homes. I wanted to see those that live in Hazlet take pride once again in their homes and in their town. It was a lofty goal, but one I felt was achievable if I did it right.
I would reach out to many through Facebook I thought and created a Hazlet News Page and a Group. The page would enable me to just put up new posts about new articles and the Group would be more interactive where people could post comments and concerns. I didn’t want our group to become the Hazlet Bulletin Board where one could post just about anything including which garbage disposal company was the best, but rather ways to help each other, share their accomplishments on making their homes and our town better.
I have updated our site and we now have a Forum for other types of questions and posts.
People thought the Hazlet News was really all about “Hazlet News” a bulletin board of sorts to post all sorts of notices. It really isn’t but it was too late to change our name to the “Hazlet Homes and Gardens”. Because of so many short posts and questions that had more to do with issues in Hazlet, I set our Facebook preferences so that all posts had to be approved before they could get published. Any that were off topic were deleted.
In the few months since our launch of the Hazlet News website we have made incredible progress.
For those Hazlet residents looking for a Hazlet Bulletin Board on Facebook, visit Cathy Lynch’s Hazlet Group that encourages all of these posts there.
Stop The Destruction
My message to my neighbors and social media friends is to think of productive ways to help our town rather than destructive ways to tear it down. We need to attend more committee meetings, we need to help our neighbors when we know they need it, we need to post positive and productive things on our social media sites. Most importantly, we all need to stop the bullies and certainly not support their actions, it only encourages them to continue their bad behavior.
All of us must learn to stop our destructive behavior, no matter how frustrated we might be. Let us come together and make suggestions on how to fix problems, let’s think of ways we can be constructive and even volunteer to help make positive change as I have. There are so many talented people living in Hazlet today, I am sure we can muster a few that can lend a hand. I certainly will look for those that can help me with future projects too.
We have to stop listening to every self-serving individual that slings mud at others for their own gain. Let us start to encourage those that try to make a positive difference in their lives and in our town. As I have said on Facebook in some of the extended and heated postings, Enough is Enough! If you have something constructive to say or you want to help us help this town, than contact me for ways we can all work together to accomplish these goals.
Posting on Facebook is fine when you want to share information, but don’t think it will make any positive changes in our town when you simply post complaints or post inaccurate information as fact. We all must try to get the facts straight and be active in a constructive way to make positive change.
Many of you must remember my postings about a dangerous pot hole in our area. Positive posts and decisive action made the problem go away. I encourage all of our readers to help me and help our town to accomplish positive change.