If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. — Ludwig Wittgenstein

The question of the feel of the world has come up a few times now.


My husband and I have talked about the upcoming 2012 and idea of Doomsday in the past. When the movie first came out – which I refused to watch with him – the feel around the school and with other people I know was one of demise. Media has this way of getting our emotions just-a-stirrin’!

So, now that the hype of the ‘movie’ has died down, I’ve noticed some other changes. I am fairly connected in the social media world. I don’t add content as often as I’d like, maybe as I should, and definitely not as often as others do, but I am still connected. Through this I’ve come to notice a sorta of feel of change, or a positive vibe. I follow many educators, so that may add a bias, but the tone of possibility and direction seems to be a constant.

Again, this is what I see.

This is what I notice.

But, I have also had some recent conversations (face-to-face) with colleagues and parents of students, and, the feel that they are projecting is that of a much scarier, more negative world. Of course, since this seemed completely opposite of my feelings these days I prompted for reasons.

The answers made me think. Some of the responses I received were that through Facebook and other online social networking, people should be careful. They believe that kids are more bullied. Kids aren’t safe. They also admitted that they don’t know what their kids are doing on there. Some said they will not allow their kids to have access, if they can help it, as they themselves do not even have accounts. They felt all they ever hear anymore is the negativity of the world – on the news, and through hearsay from others.

Fear of the unknown?

My re-torque was, “Well, what do you see?” “Where do you get your information?” I shared that I see things differently. One teacher and parent talked about how it is a shame that kids that are homosexual have been bullied and in the end have committed suicide. I agreed, of course. They also said, that these kids were on social networking sites and so therefore those sites are negative. I asked, but have you seen the responses? The circles, groups, backlash from society has been huge! Ellen Degeneres has used her media connections to add a public voice. Ellen is on Facebook, Twitter, TV, in magazines, etc, and her number of followers, or people she reaches is even more amazing. When she adds her support of acceptance, and tolerance, and others agree, look at the power we have to change the negativity! Look at the possibilities!

One act of hate is responded to by millions of acts of love! – was my response.

Nowadays, it seems that the negative/haters are becoming a minority. The power of those that want positive change and a feeling of love to take over has risen. We are uniting for good. That is the feel I am noticing. But I am also connected. I also see it.

It isn’t all rosy, but as is the case with the alcoholic that is kept in the closet and all words about him are hushed – he remains an alcoholic, with little or no supports, alone with his affliction. If his problem was brought to surface and those around him knew, perhaps some changes could be made. His peers would have dry parties, and he’d feel welcomed. The main thing is he wouldn’t be alone, he wouldn’t be able to hide, and change would be necessary. Others could even talk about how they overcame their affliction, again not alone.

I hope that the people I have chatted to recently join the world network so they can see what people are doing to inspire change, to connect through positive energy and demonstrate that we have the support and the numbers. Personal fear of the unknown can difficult. So perhaps it is simply that. They are not fearing a more negative world, but a fear of what they have yet to become part of.


I’m sure you’ve all seen Stand By Me, Playing for Change, and it is still a favourite. Enjoy another video connecting those around the world in the race for positive change.

Let’s get together and feel alright…


Comments on: "The World Feels Scarier? or More Positive?" (6)

  1. Carolyn Jensen said:

    I like your topic and agree with your sentiments. As I’ve increased my online presence by following blogs, starting to tweet, and more recently starting to follow my son’s activities on Facebook, I have to say I was met with some surprise. I, too, had heard of the horrors of social media and was wondering what would this all look like. Amongst the educational media that I’ve been following, I’ve actually commented to some that it’s like an educational love fest out in blog-land. Even disagreements are handled in a most polite fashion. And in the more general public types of online exploring that I’ve done, I have seen a couple of instances where the language or intent have been questionable. But from my initial judgments, things seem to mirror society has a whole. There are a few negativists out there who seem to get lots of attention. However, the VAST majority of people are good folks. They care about the people that are important to them and want to leave the world a better place than they found it. And that is reflected on line too.

    • Thanks for the comment and reflections Carolyn. Glad you have signed in to the online world even more. And glad it is not too scary!

  2. georgecouros said:


    This is so true and I guess the first person that we have to look at is ourselves when looking to make a change. I know that as a person, I can choose to make a positive, negative, or neutral impact on the world. I choose to be positive and try to make those and the world around me better. I see that often from many educators and people.

    The opportunities for kids to actually make an impact on the rest of the world is absolutely huge! These are things that I did not have the opportunity to do when I was a kid. You are seeing kids like Craig Kielberger at 12 (sp?) start “Free the Children” and make a huge social impact.

    This is a great article that talks about the exaggeration that many of us have increases the risk to our kids:

    Cybersafety – do fear and exaggeration increase risk? http://bit.ly/pd4J0V

    Thanks for your post and your openness to discuss this and trying to make the world a better place. Because of teachers like you, our kids are going to be successful!

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment George. I found the ideas in the Cybersafety blog similar to situations I have witnessed. “Fear can paralyze” and “Lead to irrational decisions.” I also found it interesting to look at some of the research quoted as to bullying being a problem online, yes, but overall bullying is on a decrease. Awareness maybe? And, I love the slide on “Strength in Numbers!” and the examples of positive norming. Thanks again! Tanya

  3. Tanya,

    Your blog is both insightful and thought provoking. I find it interesting that you have had comments from parents about keeping their children away from social media. I too have heard the same comments.

    The reality is that the majority of kids, even if they do not encounter social media in the home, will at some point engage in it on their own.

    In my opinion, not educating kids about social media is akin to letting them drive a vehicle without first going through the steps of driver training and a learners permit.

    It is essential to teach kids about digital citizenship and what it means to have an online profile. Guiding them through the use of social media will not only have a positive impact on the child but also on the content of social media itself. So, if we’re so worried about negativity and bullying in social media, seems to me counter productive to NOT incorporate social media both in the classroom and at home.

    Thanks again for the great post!

    • Thank so much Carlene for your response. I especially appreciate your parallel example to driver training. It just makes sense, educate and train! And what better way to do so while they are learning and making mistakes — before they are driving on their own.

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