Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Policy for This Blog

I am seriously beginning to suspect that organizations and media outlets have learned that they can increase the traffic to their sites and/or increase new members to join their paid membership by taking hold of certain current events and inciting anger or fear in people. This has extended over into inciting discussion on Internet discussion groups and into the blogosphere.

I am noticing a trend that a certain issue can exist and be ‘out there’ for people to know for a while. So many will not blog about it or will not discuss it on email discussion groups. However once certain organizations, sometimes months later, do a press release to incite anger and/or calling for action to be taken, the people are all abuzz about the topic.

The new policy of this blog is that if certain websites or organizations try to stir the pot about a certain topic when it is old news I will not fall in line to suddenly get upset about it (using my own mental energy) to blog the topic and to drive my blog readers to visit websites who are suddenly spreading the publicity “all of a sudden”. I will continue to blog new things that are of interest to me no matter what outlet first informed me of the issue. There is a big difference.

As my first example of this new policy I do not plan to have a separate blog post on the current topic of this nature It was a one or more months ago when a certain contest was announced that had a rule about explicitly not allowing homeschoolers to participate. I knew of it then and I read the rules on the official website, back then. I didn’t like it but I investigated it myself and realized the goal of the contest was one thing which was not in alignment with rewarding individuals and it was not about giving anything to a homeschooling family, the goal was to give prize money to a school. Period. I interpreted it as a publicity stunt for free advertising for the two organizations involved. If the company truly just wanted to help a school out they could have just made a gift to one school and no contest would have had to be held. I chose to take no action as I felt any complaint or boycott would fall onto deaf ears. I didn’t blog it as I figured no one cared since no one was really talking about it much. This did not receive much media attention either or much chat on the blogosphere. However now that certain parties in this country are discussing it an inciting anger and a boycott now everyone is talking about it. To me this is “ho hum” nothing new. What surprises me the most is how one after the other, bloggers and people on chat lists are falling into line giving their opinion on this topic and trying to inform others and get them to take the action that a certain organization is calling for. “Jump on the bandwagon everyone!”

I am seriously beginning to wonder if some people who represent certain organizations and media outlets have learned that yes, it is easy to incite fear or anger and yes, this does not just apply to individual people but they can also, just by way of knowing the knee-jerk reaction of some people’s human nature, or the desire to call attention to themselves on their blogs, that they can use the blogs as tools, as additional mouthpieces, echoing their opinions and helping more individuals jump onto the praise bandwagon for them, like free advertising.

I hate the idea of being used like a tool and I will not let myself be used in that way.

Sorry if this disappoints you. This is my little spot in cyberspace and I get to make my own rules in my little world. If the traffic to my blog is less because The Thinking Mother has not taken the time and energy to put in her two cents on the incited topic of the day then so be it. On this blog I will write about topics that interest me enough to discuss only. I refuse to chime in on something just to jump on the bandwagon to have an opinion on that topic.

Are we homeschooling parents followers or are we leaders? That is a question for you to ponder. If you are a leader are you allowing others to treat you as a follower? Are you acting like a follower in your blogging and online chatting? I would venture that most homeschooling parents are leaders and I would urge you to act as a leader in all that you do.

It is your choice as to whether you want to be a leader and to cull your own news and take your own self-directed action or to sit and wait until a press release informs you of what action the company would like you to take, and then if you choose to do that action at that time. This is the choice between being a follower and a leader and it is yours to make.

Each of us gets to decide how we expend our energy and how we spend out time. This goes farther than the time we take to send an email to a group or to write and publish a blog post. This extends into manipulating our thoughts and it usually tries to control our emotions, which takes up our mental energy. Do you want to be a person who is always reactionary? Do you want to sit waiting for someone to tell you what to think and what action to take? Do you want to give away your power like that? If so, you have chosen the path of the lemming.

And if you didn’t know it yet, The Thinking Mother is not a lemming.

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1 comment:

livnletlrn said...

There are lots of things we, as homeschoolers, aren't able to do that in-school kids can. There are also lots of things that in-school kids can't do that homeschoolers can. Luckily, there's enough of both types of opportunities that nobody needs to get in a huff over not being eligible for a single thing. Life's too short and there are so many doors that *are* wide open to us. Onward and upward!