Moving Forward After a Contentious Election Year (and Really Anytime)

Nov 30 2016

by Catherine Hamrick

The Southern Coterie blog: "10 Steps for Moving Forward After a Fractious Election Year (and Really Anytime in an Overwhelming World" by Catherine Hamrick (photo: LillyJo Photography for The Southern C)
photo: LillyJo Photography of the 2016 Southern C Summit in Charleston

“Facebook is a source of news for a majority of American adults, but in the vitriol and propaganda of the 2016 election, its proverbial public square for many users has devolved into a never-ending Thanksgiving-dinner debate—or an omnipresent Speaker’s Corner.”—excerpt from “Post-Election, Overwhelmed Facebook Users Unfriend, Cut Back” at (November 20, 2016)

This fractious election year did me some good: I got rid of my TV and limited my news reading to a range of professional sources that do not run salacious stories for the sake of ratings. I also scaled back social media, emphasizing only professional engagement. Although aware of the outward world, I turned inward, which proved enlightening.

These 10 steps moved me forward:


Our battered Republic will survive yet. I shudder to think of the social media storms that would have shaken the nation had Jefferson, Adams, and their supporters accessed the Internet. Yes, these “righteous” founding fathers ushered in negative campaigning, and it has stuck ever since, as noted in Mental Floss several years ago. The only delight would have amounted to scrolling through urbane tweets by creatures from the Age of Reason, not the Era of Self-Aggrandizement. (We can thank Abigail Adams for reaching out to Jefferson years later, which renewed a brilliant correspondence between these profound, yet flawed politicians.)

Side note: had Benjamin Franklin grabbed hold of the Internet, he would have monetized the greatest blog ever.



Catherine Hamrick, a university communications manager, blogs at Random Storyteller.



Catherine Hamrick View More Blog Posts from this Author

After a few years as a copywriter for the Southern Living Advertising Department, editor and writer Catherine Hamrick learned her craft in the magazine and book divisions of media giants Time Inc. and Meredith Corporation. She taught writing, literature, public speaking, and business communication at the university level. As a freelancer, Catherine has tackled "almost every topic but porn and physics" and has managed editorial projects or co-authored branded books for imprints such as Southern Living, Oxmoor House, Meredith Books, Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Country Home, Midwest Living, The Home Depot, Ortho, and Lark Publishing. Certified in social media marketing, she coaches students and professionals in writing resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. She is also a ghostwriter—that is, a professional keeper of secrets. Connect @ChamrickWriter or drop by her blogs: Random Storyteller ( and Catherine Hamrick: Writer, Editor, Social Media Human (

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