“Complicated problems cannot be solved at the drive-thru window!”
I have had this quote tacked on my whiteboard wall for some time. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through FB page comments and reading some disturbing questions and comments, that I found the inspiration for sharing it.
Studying conversations and interactions on FB pages, Dave? What can I say, it was a slow day here at 100Pedals.
I find a few of the interactions on FB pages insightful. Which is good, considering there was stretch where some of the strings had become incredibly confrontational and irrational. While those behaviors have mostly died down, I still struggle with some of the conversations in the support pages, particularly when people engage in public interactions regarding their private problems, asking for advice and opinion.
“Problems are not solved in the court of public opinion”
This is what comes to mind as reading some of these interactions, “this is not the forum.” Here’s why I feel this way:
- The issues being discussed are incredibly personal.
- They are about other people’s personal business without their permission. (Social Media Truth: There is no such thing as a private conversation in a public forum. No matter how private the room, every conversation is public!)
- Most of these questions and discussions lack sufficient context or background.
- They are often focused specifically around one event, decision, or behavior.
- The nature of the question is directed at what to do in response to something, even though the people being invited to comment have only a snippet of the information necessary to render a healthy, helpful perspective.
- Many of those being solicited may have similar experiences, but it does not mean they are providing an answer from a healthy, educated understanding of their own personal, complex issues.
Complex problems cannot be solved at the drive-thru window or at the court of public opinion because they are, by nature complicated and have many moving parts and pieces. Complex issues do not come with instant, easy, or simple answers. They require reflection, introspection, and the guidance of someone you trust to guide you through the thought process before making difficult, challenging choices. Tossing a “what do I do?” inquiry on Facebook fulfills none of these requirements.
The struggle most parents have with issues raising their children, particularly one who is battling a substance abuse or addiction related issue, is we are reluctant to ask for help. We hate to admit we need help. We worry that sharing our problems with someone, even a person we may trust in our local community, will reveal a character flaw or personal failing we would hate to admit to or expose. Instead, we choose to suffer in silence. We try to manage the chaos despite our limited abilities to do so. Finally, in an act of desperation we go to some “safe” semi-anonymous forum, like FB pages, where a slew of similarly struggling parents hang out and ask them for help. It is safe, it is easy, it is convenient; but, there is little healing or personal development in this guidance. It provides a quick-fix, emotional response which rarely incorporates the entire problem into the decision-making process, is extremely short-sighted, and is risky in the bigger scheme of things.
Parents, if you are struggling with a child, having difficulty coping with or understanding the behaviors relating to substance abuse or addiction, get real help. Invest the time and resources to work through the problem in a deliberate, healthy manner. Panic posts on FB are not helping anyone in the long haul. Over the short term, they can even be more damaging.
You can best serve yourself, your child, and your family by taking the time work through these issues together with the guidance of someone who has extensive, personal development experience with, or has been trained in what you are dealing with.
Find someone local you can trust, build a relationship with someone who brings healthy perspective to the issue and commit to addressing the issue from the perspective of education, awareness, communication, and acceptance. There are much better ways to work through what you are struggling with, please take the time to discover and engage those who are best equipped to help you.
Wishing you and your family all the best in 2018!
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I would love to hear from you.
What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help. Please let me know if you need more: dave@100Pedals.com.