By Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, CBT
I share many thought-provoking ideas and concepts with you, yet sometimes I ask myself if the message is really making headway in terms of understanding dogs, training, and behaviour. This week, I want to address social media and feedback. Do we actively listen to one another, or do we passively acknowledge information? Does social media serve as a giant emitting system with no one on the receiving end?
Social Media or Cultural Medium
I've noticed on our social media platforms that when we post funny videos or cartoons, we get an enormous amount of feedback. Yet, when we post serious questions or discuss the lack of regulation and recognition of dog training and behaviour consulting professions, there's a serious lack of acknowledgement. This leads me to believe social media is really a cultural medium in which nothing is taken seriously unless it's dramatic and violent.
I sometimes wonder if discussing dog training on social media platforms is really constructive. Social media might be an awesome podium to emit information, yet, only a small percentage actively receive or respond. I also question the seriousness of professionals who are highly inflexible when it comes to new concepts and theories. I was part of many dog training and behaviour groups that disrespect one another with a passion. I left those groups because of the cultural and ideological bashing.
I don't know about other writers, but I know I need feedback. Positive or constructive feedback allows us to grow as individuals but also as professionals. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a journalist; however, dogs and other animals need a voice, many voices, to be heard. I want to be the animal's voice and spread the news about new dog training ideas, methodologies, principles, practices, management, and behaviour modification, but to be a voice requires a listener.
Are you listening?
I need to hear from you, in private if necessary, and read your comments, likes or dislikes. It doesn't mean I'll stop talking about taboo topics, but it does mean I'll listen and hear what you have to say. Social media is all about liking what one says, it's about sharing ideas, it's about commenting so we can hear your voice. Social media isn't about cultural bashing, virtual bullying, or breedism propaganda.
I'm going to continue to write articles or voice my concerns about the lack of recognition in a potentially very dangerous profession. However, I need you to tell me why. Why do you want or don't want from your profession and/or professional?