Friday, February 17, 2012

my "love note" post went viral.... what the? my thoughts.

SO. this week I learned the power of social media. Its pretty freaking insane. Here are my thoughts, starting with the story from my point of view.

I had a meeting for ALPFA (a club) at 6pm on Valentines day night, so I decided to stay in the Tanner building and study until then. I went to the cubicals because one of my friends was studying there. I went sat down by him, got up for a phone call and then when I sat back down... five minutes later, a random boy came up to me, tapped me on the should and gave me what I thought was a love note. Come to find out... it definietly wasn't a love not.

Here is the note:

Didnt expect that. At first I was embarrassed. Because I was with my friend, and he wanted to read the note... and it was embarrassing! I was also sad I had offended someone with my choice in dress, because that was not my intention. Also, it was Valentine's day night. I'm sorry, but it was not nice. How do you think his note made me feel? If I was struggling with my testimony or modesty in any way... I don't think this boy's note would have made me change my dress or how I feel towards the church. If anything I would have just been hurt, offended, and upset by it.

But after thinking about it, I took it as a joke. I texted a few of my close friends showing them the note the boy had written me. They all responded, oh my gosh! What are you wearing!? So I went in the bathroom... and I snapped a picture to show my friends... haha. Who would have thought that the picture would spread like wildfire all over the US. and even the world. If I would have known that picture would be examined by thousands, I would have taken a cuter picture! hahahah. To be honest, that picture is kind of embarrassing. My friends thought it was funny, so I posted it on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For those of you who know me, I love Social Media.... haha. Im always uploading random things I think are funny. Somtimes I'm lucky and get 30 "likes." or 3 "retweets." But I never in a million years thought that my post would be shared over five hundred times and retweeted over 100 times. And... thats just what happened.

Here's what I was wearing:

I had a great rest of Valentines night. I told people about the story, we laughed about it and that was that. Just a funny, sad story. I went to bed that night. Went to my accounting classes the next morning. I got out of class at 11, and my post had 100+ shares. WHAT THE. how did THAT happen. I looked at the comments... They were pretty funny. My friends took it as a joke. For those that know me, they know that I'm not a rebel. Haha, I'm not a "Molly Mormon" but I am definitely always trying my best to keep the standards of the church, because I love my religion. The idea of the Honor Code at BYU for us to be MODEST. not measure inches of covered knees between the end of our loose fitting dress and the top of our boots. I had people going through my pictures on Facebook with a measuring stick to see if they could find immodest clothing... Really? Is that what the Honor Code is for? So we can find fault with each other?

After it started getting more and more shares, I got nervous. I was literally shaking. I didn't want to get in trouble with BYU and I didn't want my friends, and random people to think that I was mocking the honor code. I personally respect the honor code and I dont have a problem with it. I called my dad and he said that my post was fine, and that I didn't need to take it down. It's good to have conversations about our difference of opinions and what the rules mean or why they are there.  So I left it up because it had already gone VIRAL. and boom. thats the story.

With all of the shares, people wanted to hear what I had to say. Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC all jumped on the story. They came out to Provo and interviewed me. Here are the clips.

Fox Interview
KSL interview
ABC interview
KUTV (CBS) Interview

Here's one of the three radio interviews I had
Mix 1079

The Student Review
Daily Universe
Salt Lake Tribune
CBS Las Vegas

Here's the article they posted in the UK
My friend Trevor's blog

The political cartoon says, "ugh! naked savage!" and he's holding a scroll that says "women's rights"

They even made a Meme... it says "what you are actually wearing" "what society thinks you're wearing" "what the creep in the study hall thinks you're wearing"

It made the front page of MSN and Yahoo....

I have had 500 new followers on Twitter, Over 200 Facebook friend requests, a lot of Facebook messages, countless text messages, phone calls, I got a very nice email from my religion and accounting professors, my parents have received calls, and endless support.

Walking around campus, and the tanner building, random people are yelling. You're THAT girl. from the Love Note story! and Nice outfit! and Thanks for dressing modestly today! Haha I was at the RB at my friends intermural basketball game and there was a boy who completely stopped and did a double take "Youre THAT girl" hahahah.

The weirdest thing is walking by people around the Tanner Building and the library who are either looking at my picture as I walk by, or talking about the story. That was a bizarre experience.

I could honestly go on and on....

Completely, absolutely.  Viral. So.... was there nothing happening this week or what? Was it really that big of a story for it to get that big? I dont think so. But there could be some valuable lessons learned.

When I was being interviewed I really didn't know what to say but to be very careful in my wording because I truly love BYU, and I think the Honor Code is here to protect us and help us be better people. but like I said earlier, the honor code is to help us be modest. not be self-righteous and judgmental.  I LOVE the LDS faith. (I served a mini mission and during high school I invited all of my friends over for discussions.) So I didnt want the news people to cut me in a way that was unfavorable towards the church or BYU. But, after thinking about it. I really wish I would have shared more of my thoughts (to the people of the LDS faith, not for the whole world...) about how men like this really aren't approaching the situation in the right way. 

I have gotten multiple girls that have either tweeted at me or messaged me on Facebook about their personal experiences that were similar to mine. One girl told me that during her D&C class, a boy called her out, in front of the WHOLE class saying her shirt was inappropriate. She said she was so embarrassed and pretty upset by it. For a boy to call a girl out in front of everyone is so sad. especially in a religion class! Thats just one of the many I received. I really feel that for the most part, the girls at BYU are truly fantastic, a light to the world. I'm sure you know, but we live in a crazy world. And to even BE at BYU says something about the type of people we are. remarkable. And when students (girls and boys) are trying so hard to be good and do the right thing... one comment from a self righteous boy would really be upsetting. 

I could post the rude messages from random people saying that it is MY fault that the church is being talked badly about it. But I wont. To them and others, I apologize. I learned my lesson about the power of social media, and I feel bad if you are offended or annoyed by this story... I really had no intention of it becoming this big. People are going to talk. With Joseph Smith and in the times of Christ bad things were said. That is the cool thing about BYU and about the Mormon faith. It still grows, even when there is "bad publicity." 

Almost everyone has been very supportive. I have gotten hundreds of tweets and messages from people saying that they thought I was dressed appropriately and they support me. SO many more nice people in this world. 

To the people of the LDS faith. Please think before you say something. Growing up, people in my ward thought it was their job to call me out and tell me what I was doing wrong. As someone who loves my religion, it didn't help. It just made me upset. Some people get very upset by comments, so be careful. I am not perfect and I know that, but I want boys (and girls) at BYU, and within our faith, to know that sometimes, you just need to ignore the situation and walk away. I do respect others who have the courage to stand up for what they believe, but please, be very careful.... espcially at BYU, where, like I said earlier, we are all trying to be the best we can. We have a honor code, and that is amazing. It is one of the things I love about BYU. The students here, for the most part, really are trying to be good Christians and be a "light to the world" 

My dad has always told me, the gospel is perfect, the people are not. So true. 

If that boy is out there, I'm sure he feels really bad, and I'm sorry, I really didn't mean for this to happen. Hopefully he (and others like him) learned something though. At first, he probably walked away feeling proud of himself. For sticking up for "what was right" but really? Valentine's day night? And was my outfit really that bad to write a note like that? If I upset that boy that much in the three seconds I walked by before sitting in my cubical then it truly wasn't my fault, but it was his. 

In the end, I want to say two things.

First, To those who don't know much about the LDS/Mormon Faith/BYU, we aren't all crazy. Haha. We definitely are different than others, but not crazy. There are the few out there who are pretty bizarre, but for the most part... we are normal, nice, people.

Second, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and been sooo kind. There has been an overwhelming response and I know that (thankfully) in a few days this will all be over.