Friday, May 3, 2013

Thoughts on Emails & Social Media

Being in the public eye for the last 18 years, I get my share of critiques. With the advent of the internet and social media, they come more often than they would should someone take the time to sit down and write a handwritten letter to express their disdain. I remember asking my predecessor, the late Woodie Assaf, if he received as many emails as I did when it came to critical viewers? He said, "If I did, I wouldn't care because I'd tell them where they could put it."

I received these emails just this week:

"Maybe I should get a job as a weatherman. It's the ONLY job I know of that a person can be 100% WRONG and still keep their jobs. You and others have said, "make your plans for there's no rain in the forecast". So, that's what I do, to ONLY be poured on. Today is only one example of the past weather reports. What bothers me the most, we get your forecast, make our plans, and when the weather is TOTALLY different from the forecast, then the reporting changes to fit the actual weather. Seems to me, a "WEATHER ROCK" would be a lot more accurate. If what you all report is coming from some other source, such as National Weather Service, maybe another source would be a thought. Please don't take this personal, because it's not meant to be."

"You look great tonight. There are about 50+ of us women watching  from all different walks of life.
You look very professional. But can we get you to cut you hair?" Anonymous

I had even posted one of these emails on my public Facebook page this week. While many were shocked that viewers take the time to email their critiques, one viewer sent me this suggestion:

"As with many jobs in dealing with the public and being such a public figure being in tv as you are I'm sure there are many trying times. I would greatly appreciate it if you would just ignore the comments from negative thoughts and negative persons comments to you and please don't share on Facebook. As one adult to another we have to look over these comments and move forward. Thank you and have a blessed day. PS-- whining gets nothing accomplished."

A few people have asked why I share some of my emails? My reasoning is simple: to expose how superficially critical we can sometimes be. It's amazing the freedom we feel when we can hide behind a computer keyboard, throw stones and hide. And let's face it, emails and social media have made us more susceptible to everyone else's opinion, barbs, jabs and yes, even the "constructive criticism" (is there really such a thing?)

I began to think how I would be taken if I were to walk into my local bank and tell the bank teller, "I don't like how you're doing your job. My first grader can count money faster than you. And honey child, that outfit you have on is a hot mess. I hope you don't mind that I'm giving you constructive criticism because you know I love you. I just want to help you do your job better since so many people come in here every day and look up to you." I believe I'd be sucker punched and then thrown OUT of the bank. So why do we think it's perfectly permissible to tell others what we think of them?

Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Tapping out your thoughts on a keyboard is easy to do. Before you do, think about the implications of what you're about to share. Would it be considered acceptable in the Lord's sight? If not, hit the backspace key and try again.


Anonymous said...

Ah, dear Delta sistah, isn't it amazing the things people will write? My thoughts have always been if it can't be read from the pulpit, in front of a judge or on the front page of the paper without causing pain; it should not be written. Rise above it and help us all to see where we are causing pain. May God continually bless you and yours!!!
Beth Callahan

Anonymous said...

Amen!! All I can say is that I'm proud of you for being honest and letting others know that bullying is wrong. You do your job, and you should not be judged for physical appearance. Your job is about informing your television audience about their weather, and I think you do that exceptionally well. Continue doing what you do. May the Lord bless you, Barbie.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could understand why some people see it as their job to be critical of others. You do a wonderful job and as far as your appearance I think you look wonderful. Would love to know where you shop. God will continue to bless you.
Bea Jones