Last week there was a real hoo-hah on Twitter (a “Twitter storm” if you want to use the jargon) for Yorkshire Tea. It was in the press along with all the obvious “storm in a teacup” jokes – but the nastiness of it all really caught me by surprise.
It came about because the chancellor did one of those, “I’m just a normal bloke making tea for everyone in the office” Tweets. They annoy me because they’re so obviously set up, and I’d like to think that the chancellor of the exchequer has more important things to do with his day than pose with a big bag of tea.
But the reaction on Twitter was venomous!
People were calling for boycotts of Yorkshire Tea because someone they didn’t like had taken a picture of themselves using it. Now, I know there’s a lot of unpleasantness on social media, but when people start dragging innocent tea makers into it, I’m not okay with that.
What I did like, though, was Yorkshire Tea’s response.
Instead of giving in to all the bullying and getting dragged into the politics, they called on everyone to be kind. To remember, when they post something online from the safety of their keyboard, that whatever they write is going to be read by a living, breathing, feeling human being.
It’s an often-quoted phrase (the late Caroline Flack used it in one of her last Tweets back in December) but I reckon it’s a good one – “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
But social media isn’t all doom and gloom…
As I told you all last week, we’ve just moved house, and so I’ve joined a couple of local neighbourhood groups on Facebook. Joining one is a really good way to get to know a place better and find out what’s going on in your area.
I’ve been really pleased with the amount of positive stuff being posted on it, too – not just lost cats and general moaning!
There was a lovely message the other day from a heavily pregnant woman, thanking a young man for reversing her car out of an awkward space for her – a random passerby who just offered to help. And there are some great clubs being set up to keep the kids (and grown-ups) out of trouble – there’s a board games one that I’m keen to have a bash at once we’re a bit more settled in!
It can help restore your faith in the world – just a little bit, anyway.
(Of course, you do get the general moaning on these groups as well – but if it starts getting nasty, you can always report it to the group admin and they should put a stop to it.)
If you want to try joining one for your area, here’s how to do it:
- Open Facebook, either on the website or the app.
- Type the name of the place you live into the search box at the top of your Facebook screen. (Small, local groups are usually friendlier than bigger ones, so if you live in a city, try searching for the name of your area rather than the whole city.)
- Some of the results that come up will be groups – if you want to see more, click or tap where it says “Groups” along the top of your screen.
- If one of them sounds interesting, click or tap on it and then “Join group”.
Right, that’s it from me for today – here’s hoping all your social media experiences are positive ones!