Monday, July 11, 2011
How to get your important message across, or not
In autism, just like with many things, there are differing sides, issues and beliefs. For each of these there are people who feel very strongly. This is understandable, however, some feel so strong about their thoughts that they fall into a state of fanaticism.
Fanatics are hard to deal with, especially if they don't quite have their facts straight. I'm not aiming at any particular group here, (that would be particularly dangerous) but I do want to point out a few ways you won't get your point across.
Extreme measures have their place. Take a peaceful protest march of thousands to the White House or a State Capitol somewhere. That's extreme, but it has worked to make political and human rights points in history. The key to an extreme measure working is choice. People choose to get involved and the do so because they believe in what the protest stands for.
Now I'm going to say something harsh but it's also very important if you want to get your point across: Misuse of an extreme measure will only make you look like a lunatic. To avoid that, you have to use your media with care and present your message in a politically correct fashion. I know, I'm not always that politically correct, but bear with me. The most of what I miss is usually he/she reference. I stick with just one and it's meant to be in respect that there are two or what not. I have been attacked for that before.
So, here are some important points to consider about delivering your message:
1) FACTS: Have you researched your information and are you using verifiable facts? For example, if you go around calling people with Asperger's liars for saying they have autism, you would be hurting your case. Asperger's is recognized by every medical board in the world as an "Autism Spectrum Disorder". Recently, they have considered making its diagnosis separate for identification issues and there is an ongoing argument, still: that doesn't change what it's been accepted as for years, a form of autism. Conspiracy theories of many kinds are famous for getting blown out of proportion to a point of inciting panic. This doesn't help the point that needs to be made, or the message. So, make sure you have your facts straight before you go on the warpath.
2) DELIVERY: How are you getting your message out? Do you write blog articles like me? Do you have a website? These can be very good ways to deliver your message. You will have to write for a while to start getting attention, but keep going and time will bring readers to you. But what if you want to skip that time needed? Maybe you decide to gather friends on Facebook and then launch emails at hundreds of them at a time with your message? Watch out. That could get you in trouble for spamming. You may have an important point, but if try to flood people with it too much, too fast, you will only annoy and turn them off to your message. And you can't please everyone, no matter what you do. I've been called a ranter plenty of times. You can't reach everyone either. Some people are dead set in what they believe, right or wrong. You have to let them go and get on with what's important, those who are listening and your message.
3) IS IT FRIENDLY? A true mark of a bad fanatic is someone who insults everyone that has a different point of view. I'm talking about someone who calls people racial slurs, drops obscene language makes horrible references against opposing opinions, just because their opposing opinions. This person will ignore all facts presented and not take any time to look at perspectives or respect others. If you don't believe they way they do, you're scum. Don't be one of these. You will have a select and small group of listeners, sure but your message won't get far. You will turn off people left and right. Even people who are famous for such attitudes are limited in number. Even they don't get away with calling people much more than "stupid". As soon as I get slighted like that for my opinion, that person loses all credibility with me. I've had some strong opinions of people too in my day. Thankfully, they've either been a learning experience and never been obscene with a torrent of swearing and worse.
Honestly, if you can steer around those three obstacles, you can gather quite a following to your points and probably even get something serious accomplished. The internet can be an awesome tool for this, or it can lead to your destruction.