Bill Anderson: Take a deep breath

Bill Anderson: Take a deep breath

Image - Bill Anderson/shutterstock

Being a Councillor over the last 4 years and in this sense, a public figure has taught me several things about what to do and what not to do if you want to preserve your sanity and keep the angry mobs at bay.

Social media, like most “new” inventions, is a two-edged sword having the possibility to be used for good or for mischief. Here are some suggestions for reducing the stress and conflict in your life.

1. Don’t argue with people’s opinions. An opinion is something which everyone is entitled to have. The problem is that some out there are determined to shove it in your face without the ability to see that it is an opinion and not fact. Let them have their opinion, don’t try to change it and don’t get into an argument about it. Example: “Bill Anderson, you are a disgrace as a public figure.” Reply: “Thank you for your comment. Have a nice day.”

2. Don’t challenge how people feel. Everyone reacts to situations differently. What you might brush off as a momentary inconvenience, others may see as a life catastrophe. If they are good friends, by all means, sit down and have a heart-to-heart with them, but if they are random digital profiles, don’t tell them what they feel or should feel.

3. Don’t trust politicians. Doing this without consideration may lead to great disappointment. Especially at this moment, with elections around the corner, why would you trust people you don’t even know? There are some decent politicians out there but trust the people you know and don’t simply go by the label.

4. Don’t try to win every argument. Social media seems to have encouraged us to fight our battles to the death to see who gives up first or who has the bigger set. Sometimes it’s OK just to let the other person have their tiny victory in a war of insults. It doesn’t mean you have to change your mind but it stops the small wounds from turning into open sores.

5. Be clear about the difference between facts and opinions. Too many people can’t tell one from the other. “It’s a well-known fact that tea tastes better when the milk goes in first.” It is neither well-known nor a fact. Don’t initiate battles because you can’t present your opinions for what they are. Better to start with “I think….”

6. Learn to spot trolls. Just in the past few days, a certain person whose Facebook profile is thinner than a cheap cup of coffee started commenting, negatively I would add, on consecutive comments or posts I had done in various places. Don’t give them the opportunity to keep the debate going, and maybe report the fake profile.

7. Be kind. If want to comment on something ask yourself about your reply, “Is it true?”, then “Is it kind?” and then, “Is it necessary?” The number of times I have spared myself a battle by deleting a comment I was about to post. Also, don’t go onto Social Media when you have had a few. Deleting your comment the next day is not the same as not posting it.

If only I would listen to my own advice, life would sometimes be less complicated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson is a Councillor with the Grupo Populares de Mijas, radio host and columnist for the Euro Weekly News