Thursday, October 22, 2020

Social Media is Making Me Crazy

I need to quit watching and listening to the news these days. It actually wears me out watching one group of people saying one thing and another group of people saying the complete opposite. And then the tit for tat that follows. 

I also need to probably stay away from Facebook and other social media, at least until after election day. Everywhere I look, every post I read seems to be a political take on some current event. I will read a posting from someone and then proceed to read another 25 comments on that posting, as to why the post is not accurate, it should be fact checked, and basically telling the person who posted it that they are morons for posting what they did. And usually somewhere in the comment there will be a link to Snopes or some other fact checking source debunking the original post. I know I am not alone here, there has to be many who see this happening or have had it happen to them...or perhaps you are one of the ones commenting on a post. And I have to admit, I have at times fallen into each of these categories. I have tried to post things that I think aren't political and within minutes there will come a rebuttal or an all out unkind comment. I have learned to rarely post anything except funny stories, family activities and maybe a humorous meme here and there. And this time of the year, it is best I stay far away from social media...and yet I continue to peak at it like it has some kind of fixed spell on me

I love Facebook and all of the friends and family members that I follow. I love the dog pictures, kitten snapshots and pictures of family and friends doing fun stuff. I love that Facebook has allowed me to connect and stay in touch with people from years ago,people I grew up with or went to school with. And I even like trying a new recipe that gets posted every so often. Usually that is my social media experience.

But nowadays, as we come upon the elections of new people in government, my puppy and family pictures are few and far in between. It is mostly posts of politicians asking for money to slam the one they are running against, or friends with different political views as mine, posting mean and unkind things about people who may not agree with their take on the current issues. Sometimes it is just plain hard to scroll on by.

I really don’t post anything about who I vote for or where I stand on many of the current issues. It just always feels like a disaster waiting to happen, a person challenging my views angrily. I just don’t choose to do life in a constant battle of who is right and whose view is wrong. I try hard to be a firm believer in “to each their own”. 

But a few weeks ago I had read an article, written by an Evangelical pastor, regarding voting and the difficulty some people, many Evangelicals, have when it comes to pro-life and abortion. It was well written from a Christian’s view on the sanctity of all life. He openly admitted that he was anti-abortion. The artice spoke about pro-life needing to be pro-life after a child is born. It was about respecting life thru the entire life-span, not just at conception and while in the womb. While I am not doing justice to this article,and there will be those who disagree with it, it was well written for anyone who is torn between voting only for people or a party line who look at anti-abortion as a single issue and voting for people who want to respect a woman’s right for medical treament and yes possibly abortion. It spoke about how if a woman chooses to not abort a baby, we then as a society have a duty to help that baby grow into a productive place in society. Does that mean allowing the mom and baby to live off handouts and welfare forever? Absolutely not! But it does mean that we are to come alongside them and give them a hand up as needed to become the people they were meant to become.

Well like a fool I thought this article was so impressive, I posted this on Facebook without any comments whether I agreed or disagreed. While I had many comments from friends and family from all political opinions thinking it was a good impartial article, I had one friend who in all caps told me I was siding in with Homocide, Genocide and the “Libtards”. How could I possibly post something about murder? How could I call myself a Christian? And on and on the lashing went.

You can imagine the shock I felt when I read this comment, especially after debating whether or not to even post it as it was political. And I don’t post political stuff. What should I do? Should I delete the post, should I delete the comment, should I leave it? It was a brutally cruel comment that was so unfiltered and full of hate and swearing, that I knew I wouldn’t leave it there. Had it been done in a non-threatening way, I probably would have just left it. But this was so hate filled, I needed to remove it. So I did.

I then messaged my friend of over 50 years and told her I did not allow hatred on my facebook page, so she was deleted from the comments. More accusations and more hatred came back to me in the message. I realized this was going nowhere and just said, “ sorry, but I am going to block you from commenting or seeing my posts. Basically I told her goodbye. It was hard to do, but I also realized I do not want such hatred and anger creeping around my life. Was it the right thing to do? I am not sure, but this person had been warned 2 or 3 times before this that I didn’t tolerate hate comments on my Facebook page...yet she persisted. I feel there was no other alternative. She is still a friend from the growing up days, but It has been a choice I had to make to remove the hatred and bigotry from my life and those around me.

I pray daily that we can all learn to live in a world of differences of opinions and life choices. It’s hard. It’s hard to silently disagree, it is hard to make a choice to verbally challenge another’s beliefs and lifestyles. But what I do know for an almost absolute fact….posting a meme, an article, or a comment on something I disagree with on facebook has never ever changed a person’s take on their opinions and thoughts.
To Each Their Own…..

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