“Entitlement” on Social Media – a rant

(I’ll start by saying that everything below is based on my opinions, my view-point and my experiences and that I realise this post may not agree with everyone. This won’t necessarily match up with your experiences, etc. – but if we all agreed on everything the world would be a boring place.  As always – I welcome feedback and comments and encourage you to share your viewpoints. However please be respectful if doing so).

Once upon a time I was extremely active on Social Media. I’m nowhere near that now. There’s various reasons for this but one of those is the sense of “entitlement” that some people seem to have.

What do I mean by “Entitlement”?

There are a number of definitions according to the Oxford English Dictionary – the one that I’m discussing here is:

The fact of having a right to something.

I’ve had a couple of instances on social media over the last few weeks where my opinion of the post/comment/whatever is one that the poster feels “entitled” to something.

Example 1 – Entitlement to Answers

I have, just recently, responded to a question on a Facebook group with another question. It was done in a relatively light-hearted way. Within literally minutes I had people demanding the answer.

Example 2 – Entitlement to Information

I’ve also recently come across an instance of people believing that they should have been informed in group about a change in the Healthy Extra lists. I could only ask “why?”. As in “Why should your consultant have to run down any changes?” Yes, you pay your weekly fee – be it £4.95 or £4.65 (or multiples thereof if buying a countdown). So do I and I certainly don’t feel any entitlement to that information. Slimming World are always good at informing members of any major changes to the plan – such as a complete revamp of the Healthy Extra list done in late 2016. But a product by product change? No.

Can you imagine how boring it’d be to have to listen to every product that had been changed each week?  And how little time would be left some weeks for Image Therapy?

OK, in this instance the change was a deviation from what the book says and a particular branded product had been dropped from the Healthy Extra list. However any type of printed document is only as up to date as the time it’s sent to the printer.

Will you stop losing weight if you only went by what’s in the book? No. However when Slimming World make these changes – it’s in order to maximise the weight loss. You will still lose weight.

Empowerment not Entitlement

One of the key things about Slimming World is that they will not tell you what to do or what not to do. They give you the choice of what to do. They then give you the information (in terms of what is/isn’t a speed food, what is or isn’t a Healthy Extra (and how much counts as the Healthy Extra) and what syns are in what).  You are then empowered to use that information to make the decision that is right for you.

Yes, that information can and does change. Recipes change. Ways of thinking change. Products that were once free get reassessed and their information changes.

There’s a reason the disclaimer on each of these pages says:

Any syn values in recipes (or other posts) are correct at time of being published – however syn values (and healthy extra values) do change – I will update when I spot changes, but the onus is on yourself to make that final check to ensure that syn values are correct.

As a Slimming World member they empower you to make the choices. They empower you to find out the latest syn values, or the latest Healthy Extras. What you do with that information is up to you. You can look at Syns Online (You will need a valid Slimming World logon to get access to that page) for syn information – that will always be more up to date than any printed book or magazine. You can check the “Latest Healthy Extra” page (again – a valid logon is required) for any recent updates, but again Syns Online will be up to date on any changes from a little further back.

Giving you access to the information on Syns Online empowers you to make those decisions about if you want to eat/drink something or not. You owe it to yourself to make sure that you have the latest information and then decide how you use that information.

Yes, some people do not have access to the Internet and therefore must rely on the book(s) and magazines. As I say above – you will not gain weight following what is in the printed media. The changes that are made on a continual basis by Slimming World are to maximise people’s weight losses.

Why should I go find the information myself over just being given it?

In my previous professional “life” I used to have to train people from time to time.  I’ll add here  – I’m not a qualified trainer, nor have I ever had any instruction on training people. I know what works for me and that is what I then use when I’m training someone else.

I learn better by doing something than reading about it or being shown it.  I find I also learn better when I have to find something out over being shown something. It has more meaning to me and I’m more likely to have to remember it if I have had to think about something over having it handed to me on the proverbial “silver platter”. People learn more sometimes being pointed in the right direction over being told step by step. They may stumble. But that too is part of the learning process (so long as that “stumble” doesn’t have a wide-reaching consequence).

I also feel the same approach comes when talking about information like changes in syns or Healthy Extras. Giving the information up solves the short-term need but they will probably be wondering the same thing again in a few weeks. Give them access to find the information (via Syns Online) and it’ll be remembered more easily. If you’ve had to work something out via the Syns Calculator then tell them that it was via the Syns Calculator. But also tell them what you used as free food and what portion sizes, etc, so the next time they get stuck they are more able to use it themselves.

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