Ashley Franklin

Don't be the post-election troll

I am an online instructor, so I know a thing or two about online discussions. Job aside, I also have my own Facebook account. Fortunately, students quickly adjust to the different expectations. I have only had one occasion of someone trolling a discussion board in one of my online courses, and I was able to quickly kill that noise.
Social media trolls, on the other hand, are monsters in a caliber all of their own. We’ve all experienced them before. We recognize their extremely disagreeable nature. We roll our eyes at their name calling. We smack our heads at their inflammatory remarks. We walk away from our computers at the sight of their willingness to spread misinformation if it’s in the name of what they believe. More often than not, it’s best not to engage with a troll. Doing so is not for the faint of heart or short on time.
Here is yet another post-election request that I have:

Please don’t become the troll.

Each of us can easily slip into destructive rhetoric when our passions are high, our souls are weary, and our agreeable temperaments are tested. Feed your soul; don’t be the troll. A troll cannot compromise your character and what you put out into the world unless you become the troll. That’s something to consider.

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What now? Promise to keep pushing!

I’ll get right to it. Many of us are upset or downright distraught over the election results. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We have that right. Here is my only plea:

Let’s not become paralyzed in our fears or frustrations.

Continue to do what it is you always do, but be more mindful. If you’re a writer, write the world you want to see. Write the normal that you wish for and make it the new normal. Strive to get marginalized voices out of the margins.
If you’re a parent, help your kids to recognize the beautiful array of people and cultures and lifestyles that call this country home.
Overall, everyone can show compassion. Show love. Let’s keep it real. If you honestly dislike a group of people, find out why. Could it be that you don’t really know any of them as individuals? Could it be that you fear what you don’t know or understand? Could it be that you fear change?
I find it a good practice to check myself. Maybe that’s something each of us can do. Let’s check ourselves. Check our biases and fears. When we learn and accept more about ourselves, it may be easier to love and accept others.
Keep pushing to be great, and as a collective, we might just achieve that greatness in America that we seek. I promise I will do my part. How about you?
 

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Moving. My Birthday. My 1st Sockibration.

We’re moving!┬áLouisiana has tried to drown us for the last time. Who moves on their birthday, right? Hey, life happens. That’s the wonderful thing about it. It’s still happening for me. I am 32 today. Little kid me would be absolutely perplexed if we met face to face. My life is not going at all the way she planned out. I am not working as a famous journalist, living in a huge city, free of kids and all things boring. But guess what, there are a few things little kid me hadn’t considered:

  1. I genuinely hate big cities.
  2. I love writing fiction.
  3. I am good at working from home.
  4. I’m not as bad as I thought at this whole mom/wife thing.

Okay, 4 is still debatable on most days, but whatever.
I may not be where I want to be financially or physically right now, but I am working to be in a good mental space. What’s my birthday wish? To be content. To be better at appreciating the little things and to see how big their value can actually be.
Speaking of little things, that leads me to Sockibration. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know wonderful people in many online interaction. Particularly, one of my coworkers from a college I still work for is AMAZING! We bonded over our random, and often ridiculous for no reason, life experiences. Despite now knowing each other for years, on Monday we discovered our birthdays were just days apart. That’s how I was introduced to Sockibration. She sends socks to her friends in celebration of her birthday, friendship, and solidarity. It is one of the most random things that I’ve ever been a part of, but I like it. Here are the socks:
sockibration-socks
 
 

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