May 13, 2013

Civility in the Digital Age

When I first launched The Mom Pledge in early 2011, I was surprised to find there was only one organization focused on adult cyberbullying behavior - CiviliNation.  Founder Andrea Weckerle has been a vital resource for me since.

Now, with her new book, Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph Over Hater, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks, she offers her expertise to all on dealing with the various forms online conflict as well as effectively communicate your own point of view. Ms. Weckerle provides her readers:

The knowledge and skills necessary to navigate and successfully participate in a frequently uncertain and volatile online environment, discover skills to recognize the different types of conflict and conflict protagonists, heading them off when possible, and managing them when not. Simply put, this book can help you take control by proactively dealing with the inevitable conflict inherent in online exchanges.

I have said it many times; we cannot control the behavior of others. All we can do is focus on our own. But many times when faced with online conflict, it can be difficult to know what to do. Especially in the heat of the moment.

Ms. Weckerle offers very specific, expert advice. Her book includes descriptions of the various types of conflict you may encounter online and the people who instigate it. There is a quiz to help you determine your own conflict style and a 30-Day Plan For Better Conflict Management Online.

One of the most common responses I have gotten to The Mom Pledge campaign is, "Is this really necessary?" As one victim of online harassment profiled in Ms. Weckerle's books explains, "Had I not gone through (the experience), I would have been like so many other people and considered the issue of online attacks and character assassinations a mere trifle not worthy of serious attention."

No one who has been on the receiving end of hostile online behavior questions the need for movements like ours and organizations like CiviliNation. Here at The Mom Pledge Community, we know all too well how ugly things can get online.

Ms. Weckerle addresses the specific type of mom-to-mom conflict we see in her book: "the battle between mothers is often framed in moralistic terms... thrown around with abandon to prove the superiority of one side over the other." She goes on to say...

Online the attacks by each side are often ruthless. One woman wrying commented, 'Does anyone remember the good old days, when only your mother and/or your mother-in-law would criticize how you raised your kids?' Fortunately, there are women like mother and writer Elizabeth Flora Ross, who created The Mom Pledge, an online community of 'women standing up, speaking out, and coming together to end cyberbullying among moms, fostering respect, understanding and acceptance.

But I don't just love this book because I am mentioned in it. Or because it speaks to an issue I am so passionate about. It is filled with great information I believe anyone who spends time online needs to have. More than I can share in one simple review.

Check back Wednesday when I will be looking at WHO the difficult people are online and WHAT they are trying to achieve. Then on Friday I'll review the many tools the book offers for making your online experience a more productive, positive one.

Because that is what is should be!

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