Sharing memes. Swearing at the governor. The sharing of clickbait. Or people now forwarding via FB instant messenger these clips that look like text messages and talk about gas pump handles. I mean, social media was a weird place before the entire world was handling a global pandemic. Now it can be downright toxic. Bizarre. And exhausting. 😳

What can you do? ——> Be mindful.

People are scared. Most people are so completely in shock, in denial or frightened that they don’t really know what to do. Judging them is not fair. Because of course this IS frightening. So it is ok to feel what you feel. It is also probably a good idea to process those things before approaching social media platforms. I am sharing my process in an effort to try to offer a respectful, information based, research approach option to managing social media for those looking

I am a pretty opinionated person. And I love a good, healthy + respectful dialogue. Both in English & Italian. I always try to educate myself whenever possible so I can:

1. I have the knowledge necessary to learn what my opinion/feelings are on a subject. So I do research. And let’s face it, what else do you have to do these days? (A little attempt at levity) 💕

How do I do that?

2. I seek, and utilize only factual information upon which to support those opinions/feelings. I take notes, save articles in my phone and computer. Like a research project. These are the times when the processes you learned in school come in real handy. Remember writing a paper and needing to cite sources? Well no time like the present to adopt that approach here. I developed a “source list” that I like to go to when I see something floating around on social, or I hear something in conversation. Or during a press briefing. Helps me keep my mind straight, along with my facts. I also have a handful of people I designate as my “experts” that I will engage in conversation with once I gather this info. They are in my life because I care about them and in doing so respect their opinion. And they bring something to my thought process that I may not have on my own. This list does not include every friend I have, but rather the people that brought me calm, respectful dialogue in certain times. So, I feel that now in uncertain times I can rely on that.

3. I find resources I trust, that are trustworthy so when I make this effort to educate myself + learn, I am doing so with resources that are accurate, and factual – they also cite sources (this is important).

I also do not really engage with people who are not like minded in their approach to what they say, post or the manner in which they interact with others. I don’t find that progress can be made, so respectfully I don’t engage. I don’t even click actually. Instead I turn to my research, going back to my list that I created – and see if I can learn anything on whatever might be the discussion happening.

So that is how I am trying to manage all of this. When people say “we are in this together” – I like to think that we are. Because for better or worse – WE ARE. ❤️

I also like to use this as a tool, too. When wanting to interact on social platforms, I stop and ask, “If I share this, or comment on that – am I contributing to solidarity? Or am I creating vitriol?” It is helpful to make every attempt to find the respectful, right way forward in these uncertain, unprecedented times.

So my attempt this morning at solidarity is to share this post, and my approach. —-> Because as always, for me —> knowledge is key. ✨

Here is a link to a source I love reading. I also really do enjoy listening to, and learning from director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci.

In case you’re curious, I also read the following daily: BusinessInsider. Locally I read both The Chicago Sun-Times & Chicago Tribune because I was raised by two avid newspaper readers and still love getting some of my news from the newspaper. Shout out to my Mom & Dad who read both papers cover to cover every single morning. Such a great example my entire life. 😘

The Illinois Restaurant Association has been a great resource as well for me because of what we are facing right now with our businesses.

I also read Italian papers every day. Corriere della Sera, among several others like la Repubblica, La Stampa, Il Messaggero.it – all sources I had to read daily when studying in Italy so I could contribute to daily conversation on the news of the day. Shout out to Signora Capizzano for making us do this in high school even before university. The habit stuck.

And of course I speak with my loved ones there. ❤️

Last, I consider Sciencemag one of my top sources , especially at this time.

I hope this is useful for some people. I have heard too often recently that people are “turning off social media” and restaurants and businesses affected so detrimentally NEED social media right now as part of their survival. So do the hourly employees who have lost income and are in crises. GoFund Me pages are shared out there, job postings, and support. So don’t shut off now. Dial in, be present. But be mindful.

Please instead try to be the example others can follow.

How about this – instead of shutting off, you do your part to contribute factual, tempered, respectful information out there so your friends, neighbors and fellow humans find you to be a source of comfort, respect and knowledge?

I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor at this time. Here is my contribution. Do you have a resource you trust and find to be factual? I’d love to learn about it!

I send my love to everybody this morning. And every moment of this. And I am in this with you, we are in this together.

Stay safe, be well. ❤️

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