Only be swayed by the truth

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One thing that annoys me a lot at the moment, is how people seem to be so easily swayed and impacted by the way news companies frame news stories. You could see stories about the same event on 5 different news websites and each will be framed differently.

Framing

Framing means the way people present something. The actual event that happened doesn’t change, just a news company will write about that event in a certain way that they think will a) appeal to their audience b) grab attention and c) tie in with the political views of the news company as a whole.

It’s like the coverage of the murder of Jo Cox last week. The facts of the event were – Jo Cox went to work, was walking in public and was murdered. You can argue all day long about the motives, the reasoning’s and what led it to happen but to try and explain it away is just plain wrong. Lets start talking about events and news stories for what actually happened, lets not try and sanitize it or use it to push an agenda.

Reporting

Murder is illegal and wrong. A person being killed is sad. It is so hard for the truth to out these days in situations and that is mainly because there are so many half-truths and out right lies out there, which are being reported on as if they were facts. If something bad happened to you or I, I would want the truth to out. I wouldn’t want my death to be used to benefit a political agenda.

Scare mongering and fear in this country has been created out of nothing by the media. The way the media reports news (especially in the last few weeks) has just fuelled hatred within our society, made a society of angry people and caused division. If news were just about facts rather than opinion and agenda, society would be in a much better place than it is today.

I hope that we become wise to what the news is doing to us soon and that a campaign is started again for real news and factual news. The news has too much power in our world; it shapes the way we think and how we react to things. The news knows how much power it has; we just need to find a way to lessen the power it has over our lives.

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Quotes

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A few years back I was very much in to reading powerful and motivational quotes. I was so much of a fan of them that I would regularly share them on my social media feeds. Everyday I would be on the lookout for more quotes to get more inspiration. When I found good ones I then took great pride in sharing them and impressing other people with them.

Catching our attention

I think quotes are great at catching our attention. I think I suffered quote overload though. Instead of getting the most out of each quote I stumbled upon, I would be on this race to find another one straight after finding a good one. I was reading lots of quotes but I wasn’t achieving any more with my life than I was before. Inspiring others by sharing them was more important than taking them in. I wanted to be seen as somebody who was great for knowing and sharing these quotes, rather than living by them or doing something with them.

I woke up a few years ago and stopped sharing quotes I found on social media. There are so many automated social media feeds out there pumping out quotes every minute to try and get more likes, shares and follows. It seems quotes have just become a currency on social media to engage people with.

Sharing originality

Now I regularly share quotes I have come up with myself. I now want to add something to the world and to get people to think. I don’t share as regularly as I used to though and I share the quotes to get myself thinking as much as the people who view them.

The one thing I dislike is when people share thoughts and quotes on social media that they have found from somewhere else but don’t live by what they share. Sharing something is pointless if it is just to get a few likes, when you share something you are associating it with yourself and if you don’t live by the quotes you share you just damage yourself and make yourself look fake.

Start of the journey

Remember the quote should be the start of the journey not the end of it. The more you use a quote the more you get out of it. Remember not everyone is going to agree with the quotes you like and share. What is most important is what you get out of it. Don’t overload yourself with quotes. Pick a few which mean the most to you and refer to them often.

Why?

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I think one of the greatest internal battles in life is trying to figure out ‘why’. Why you think the way you do? Why do you feel the way you do? Why things have happened to you? Why you are living where you live? `Why you enjoy the things you do? Why you do the things you do? Etc. etc.

Some of these maybe easy to answer but some you can wrestle with for a while and not come up with an answer. On the journey that is life, we make millions of decisions that get us to where we are and where we go, this is why I think it is important to understand as many of the ‘whys’ as possible. The more ‘whys’ we understand the better the decisions we can make, the less time we will waste and the more hope we can build for the future.

Understanding

The human mind is a complex thing and trying to figure it out is a daunting challenge but the more we understand our own mind the better our lives can be. It is important to understand where we can, how events that have happened to us or around us have affected us. The quicker we can work out how an event has affected us the less likely we are to make a bad or wrong decision because of it.

I think it is also important to look at why other people do the things they do. If you can get to the route and to the why, the more you can help someone and the better you can understand them. It is important that we as a world become slower to judge others and quicker to consider their life, where they come from and what they have been through.

Delve deeper

Sometimes in life we just get caught up in looking at what is happening instead of why it is happening. To understand the world around us we can’t just be headline readers, we need to delve in to the stories with that inquisitive mind-set of looking for the ‘why’ in the story.

The battle of learning the ‘whys’ is a battle of becoming less affected by the world and becoming more in control of your own life and actions. By being aware of why you do the things you do, it will hopefully make you less impulsive and help you make decisions that you truly want to make, decisions that are best for you and the people around you.

Advice

My advice this week would be – don’t let your life pass you by without asking yourself ‘why’ once in a while. A lot of the answers to questions, which begin with ‘why’, will unlock a lot of future happiness in your life. Sometimes it is a hard process to get to the route of the why and the answers you find can challenge you on many levels but going through this process is an important step in understanding your life, which is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Where is the positive news?

Why is the news always filled with such negativity? I think negativity breeds’ negativity and I think if the news industry as a whole covered more positive news stories or covered news stories in a more positive way, the population of the world, as a whole, would be more positive and optimistic.

It seems that regardless of the state of the world, it is the news companies that decide how we feel about it. There seems to be a message, that negativity sells and that people want negative news coverage.

Consequences

Take charities in the news for instance. This week in the UK a big charity has been in the news for negative reasons and I totally agree that this needs to be covered and if something is bad it needs to be reported as such, however it can have consequences for other charities.

Sadly many of the viewing public just want quick and easy news to digest and don’t do any research around it. Worse than this, they will use one news story on a specific case and then start lumping everything in that sector, in the same boat as bad. It’s like you never hear in the news of great things charities are doing day to day across the globe, because it isn’t deemed newsworthy but some how a negative story is? It’s like everyone is ok, until they do something wrong or something perceived to be wrong and then the media are interested. After one negative news story about a charity, some members of the audience will start thinking every charity is like that, which is not the case.

Responsibility

The news has no responsibility to be balanced but I think we all should have as human beings, the sad thing is that the news doesn’t help. The news plays a part in affecting how we think and that is why I think it is important that we are mindful of how it is affecting us.

I do think the news industry is in a hard spot though, as it seems these days that any news story can be twisted to support any argument and with more people consuming news than ever before, the global impact a news story can have is mind boggling. A perfectly innocent intended article can be latched on to, shared around the world and copied, before a news company knows it and can cause unintended damage and by the time it has been removed it is too late.

Power

With the changing face of news, news companies have evolved from print to now being digital content providers and I think this has changed how articles are written and the subjects they cover. I hope that the industry doesn’t lose sight of their place, the power they have and how they can affect the world for good and for bad.

Taking pride and not shame

Over the last year I have noticed even more than before, that people are really starting to invest in themselves and are feeling strong enough to share it with the world. Things that people wouldn’t have talked about as much in the past, are now things people feel proud to share. With the rise in social media it is ‘Trolling’ that grabs the headlines but I think amongst friends, social media has been a key tool for people to feel good about themselves and get support.

In the UK we have clubs like ‘Weight Watchers’ and ‘Slimming World’ that people can join in an effort to get their weight down and get fitter.

http://www.slimmingworld.com/

http://www.weightwatchers.co.uk/index.aspx

These clubs have been around for years, but one thing I have noticed this year, is that many people are sharing on social media that they are going and after they go they are updating their social media platforms with a status or a photo of their success. These updates then tend to get a lot of likes and positive comments from people they are connected with.

Support

I think the more we can do to support people who want to improve themselves, the better. That kind word or that like may be all that person needs to start something or to keep going. Lets try and not scroll past updates about people wanting to improve themselves, lets get behind them, it takes all but a few seconds to do and could make a lifetime of difference for that person.

If someone you know is trying a new skill lets encourage those first efforts. If someone is taking a cooking class or a pottery class, lets praise their first efforts regardless of what they look or taste like. If someone you know is taking a course to help them find employment, lets take the time to motivate them to keep going when the course is getting hard and exams are looming.

If you have a friend that is starting a creative project like making music, making art or writing a blog, lets support them with viewing or listening to their project and sharing it with your friends. In these ventures the best way to help them is to help increase the size of their audience and spread the word.

The power of a kind word

Just never underestimate the power that your words and actions have on other people. That email, that text, that post can all make a difference. I have found in life that if you support others, others will support you and you will find yourself in a more supportive group of friends and acquaintances.

Sharing in the success of others is a very uplifting thing to do. Doing this can help make you feel happier and can spur you on to try and achieve things in your own life. The only way we can achieve more and to achieve better is by trying and that is the thing we need to be applauding. Lets forget about the end goal for a minute and what might happen later, as nothing will ever happen if we never try.

We need to encourage as many people as possible to try things and then once we’ve done this, we then need to encourage people to keep on trying and to try other things. If someone tries something once they might not succeed but if he or she keeps on trying they will increase their chance of success by a massive percentage.

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Combating ‘Trolling’

The best way to combat ‘Trolling’ is building people up and not breaking them down. Before anyone has the chance to say something negative about someone or what he or she is doing, get in there first with a positive comment.

It is hard not to worry about what other people are going to say when you try to do something, but you have to keep remembering why you want to do it and what you want to achieve. It is important that we don’t let the words of people that don’t want you to succeed, dictate how your life is going to play out, because if we stop trying after the first negative word we may never try again.

Always remember there is no shame in trying to improve yourself, your situation and the world around you.