I’m on a roll, dear Reader. Two different kinds of review in two weeks! Amazing what a few days away from the day job can do for a writer. My vacation has not been all writing and reading, as I’ve been fairly absent from social media. We took a brief road trip. More about that later. For now, I want to share a review of Kindness Wins by Galit Breen. This is a very important book for anyone engaged in social media. I don’t have kids, but I loved this book. I hope you enjoy the review.
Brittany giggled when she saw the photo Lucy had posted to Instagram. In the photo, the two of them were sitting on an sandy spit in the middle of the creek, their long hair whipped around their shoulders, the sunlight making sparkles on their wet faces. It had been an oppressively hot day, and the two girls had played in the shallow creek like toddlers, splashing each other and getting soaking wet. They were happy, and they were laughing as Lucy took the selfie.
Brittany clicked Like and started to write a comment when something caught her eye. There, from a guy she barely knew, was a comment: “What fatties you both are! How gross!”
Brittany looked at the photo again. Okay, their t-shirts were sticking to them and maybe the way they were sitting made them look like they had rolls of fat, but, really? Why would anyone write something so nasty? She wanted to blast him. She wanted to tell him that he must be a miserable and lonely person to write something so mean. But she stopped herself.
She glanced over at the book that Mary had given her a few days before. It had been a birthday gift from the three widows–Mary, Melissa, and Maggie–along with her first iPhone. She knew the cousins had misgivings about her developing an online presence. They trusted her, but they didn’t trust other people. Not after what Brittany had been through.
But, as Lucy had so well argued, it was time for Brittany to come into the 21st century. She was almost 20 years old, the same age as Lucy, and she needed to reclaim her life, a life almost cut short by a man she once thought of as her father. Lucy would help her. She had read Kindness Wins and, truth be told, she was the one who had recommended it to the widows. Brittany thought she should stop thinking of them that way, but it was too hard. She just needed to make sure she never referred to them as “the widows” online.
Brittany picked up the book and leafed through it again. She had read it in one sitting, and then flipped back and forth, considering the bulleted “takeaways” that the author, Galit Breen, had included at the end of each chapter. She really enjoyed how the book was laid out, each chapter being a “habit” for a child to learn about being online, with reading resources, discussion points, and the takeaways at the end. She knew so little about social media, she was almost embarrassed to admit it. Lucy understood, though. Lucy understood everything about her.
But what to do about the mean comment? Brittany’s fingers itched to retort. She felt that liking the photo and then saying nothing might send the message that she didn’t care, or that she thought the mean comment was okay. Lucy would know better, but other people might not. A sentence from Kindness Wins popped into Brittany’s head: “It doesn’t hurt to be kind.” She didn’t feel she had the guts to take on the bully, but she didn’t have to hide either.
“What a fun day we had! That’s what counts <3” Brittany hit Return.
Well, Brittany thought, the bully will probably roll his eyes at that but no matter. She and Lucy could create a virtual storm of kindness that will drown out the meanest comment. And if they practice what Kindness Wins preaches, maybe eventually the bullies will just go away. Better yet, maybe they will become kind.
Dear Reader, this is just a snippet of what you would get out of Kindness Wins. If you’re a parent, grandparent, babysitter, caregiver, teacher, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend of friends with children, you will want to read this book. Breen has an engaging writing style. I really appreciate her honesty in sharing her own experiences and her own mistakes. Kindness Wins will definitely influence how I engage in social media from this point on.
For a great interview with Galit Breen, courtesy of Laura Zera, click here.
Get your copy of Kindness Wins here from Amazon.