Miss Dixie Thinks Aloud: Evaluating Sites I Visit

The name Dixie seems to want a Miss in front of it, y'know? 

Sometimes "Miss Dixie"  is said in a jocular way. You can almost see a thought bubble above the person's head, "Really? Your name is Dixie?" It's not a common name.  

My southern neighbor at my old house always extended his hand in greeting and said "Hey, Miss Dixie!" in a soft Carolina drawl.  I think he was just happy to still have a connection with someone from the south.

Sometimes people in my life call me "Miss Dixie" and I know they are saying, "You are awesome and I am glad you are here."   I have some Facebook friends who do that.  I have some aunts who do that.   Who wouldn't want to be called Miss Dixie if that's what you feel after you hear it?

Recently I was called "Miss Dixie" and it didn't come from that happy place.  Online discussions about autism provide lots of opportunities for disagreement and opposing viewpoints. I had left a comment disagreeing with what an author wrote on a blog.  In pointing out why my words were not accurate I was called "Miss Dixie" in the process.  "Miss Dixie" did not mean "you are awesome and I am glad you are here."  ;-)  In the realm of possibilities it is minor.  But it felt personal, because they took my name, and used it as a slam.  

A light bulb went off for me this week.  If I show up at the local coffee shop for discussion time and feel I cannot express alternative viewpoints, am not acknowledged or feel belittled would I keep going back there?  No, I would not.  

So I am setting up some guidelines for where and what I read.  I am fine with being challenged and thinking about things from differing perspectives.  I like it when it goes both ways, though.  There are some sites/places that does happen.  And there are some sites that have different purposes and I respect that, too.   An interesting blog post points this out in Not Every Comment Box is For You.  And then there are some places that you kick yourself as you're leaving, like after you ate something bad for you at a fast food place.  Why did I go there???  It bears thinking about.  

My new guidelines to evaluate a site are:
  1. Is the site evidence based?  This is important to me in regards to autism sites. 
  2. What is the purpose of the site?   Can I just read and consider?
  3. Is there an acknowledgement of other viewpoints and experiences?  
  4. Am I informed in some way that makes a difference for/in my world?  Is there a practical action I can take?
  5. Is this site filled with hate and mockery?  Important to me in evaluating political sites.  
  6. How do I feel after visiting the site several times?  Does it help me to be a better parent/artist/citizen? Does it make me feel like I can make a difference or do I feel beaten down? 
 How do you evaluate which sites you visit?

And....I think "Miss Dixie Thinks Aloud" 
is a good category for non-art stuff.  


Jan Conwell said...

Good guidelines for any of us online. I like "Miss Dixie" and use Miss or Mr. a lot with first names, because when I was growing up, that was the only way we got away with using a grown-up's first name. "Mr. Bob" or "Miss Lucy". :~) It was a sort of "familiar respect".

Dixie Redmond said...

Jan, a good point. I had forgotten it might be a courtesy title. :-)

Susie McMahon said...

So wise......err, "Miss" Dixie! A lot of time and energy can be wasted if you are not careful.
(You are lucky to be named "Dixie" and not something like "Susan" ;)

Dixie Redmond said...

Susie - it's true - not just time but energy, a different animal is wasted.

Unknown said...

Miss Dixie, you are so wise when it comes to many things. Your questioning autism articles is right on. I do the same for Lupus and Firbromyalgia. I love your work too.

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Wanda.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden