Right now, we live online. It’s where we gather for everything from happy hour to holiday celebrations. It’s our connection and our lifeline to a world built on social distancing.
But in the storm of tweets and status updates, it can be hard to break through the noise. Our tips will help you get a handle on your newsfeed and put power behind your posts.
- Let us do the heavy lifting. Our social media is consistently curating content so you don’t have to. Just follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and share what we’re posting. By spreading the word to your friends and family, you’ll be expanding our reach and ensuring broader support for medical aid in dying. Hot tip: Interact with our posts, and Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms will be more likely to keep showing you our content.
- Do read the comments – and respond. Our opposition is following medical aid in dying conversations online just to discredit reasonable, factual arguments in the comments. When you’re reading a new article, a blog post, or a post on social media, check in with the comments to see where they stand, and if you notice someone on the attack, respond. Remember you’re not trying to change that person’s mind, but you’re trying to demonstrate to anyone else reading that their statement is questionable.
- Stick to the facts. Behind their keyboards, people often resort to personal attacks more quickly than they would in face-to-face conversation. Combine that with the incredible amount of stress that we are facing as a society, and social media can become a powder key of insults and personal attacks. Don’t get dragged down in that. If someone responds with vitriol, they’re unlikely to be on a point in the spectrum of opinion where you can change their mind. Share your personal story and the facts of medical aid in dying, and move on.
- Consider the source. Misinformation abounds on social media, and sharing even well-meaning but inaccurate information can hurt the cause more than it helps. Before you share content, consider some questions: Do you recognize the source, or is it easily referenced? Is it written in a way you’d expect from a professional news source? Is it politically motivated? Make sure to verify anything that raises red flags before you re-share it.
- Report false information. There are a few tools out there (including Triplecheck and NewsGuard) that will help you identify misinformation. If you find out that something is untrue, don’t let it continue to spread through our newsfeeds — report it and eliminate it instead. You can do this on Facebook by clicking the three dots in the top right hand corner of any post, and on Twitter by clicking the down arrow in the same spot.
Tag your elected officials — and flag that you’re a constituent. Find your legislators on social media (check here if you need help finding their names), and follow their pages. When you post about medical aid in dying, tag them by putting an @ sign before their names, and reference that you’re one of their constituents and want them to support the cause. A constant reminder of the issue will ensure we’re always on their minds, and make them more likely to support our efforts at crucial moments.