I love social media. I do. I admit. I am on my Instagram all the time. I’m checking out what people are commenting on my Facebook page, I definitely check my comments on my YouTube channel often! But it’s pretty self serving. I want to see what people are saying to me, or about me. Did they read this post or that? Did they click ‘like’ on my picture?
Then I scroll through Facebook and the news several times a day. It’s all rather depressing. I thought the country was pretty divided back in ’04 when Bush first sent us into Iraq and folks were pissed off about that. You either were for the war and patriotic, or against it and treasonous. Or so it seemed. Social media barely existed back then.
Now we’re no different. We squabble about gun control and civil rights. I scratch my head and look at the calendar. Yep, 2015. And we haven’t evolved.
In fact, it’s worse. And I’m probably guilty of it too. Here’s how it works: You hear something awful happened. You post the news articles about it. Then a few days pass and the bloggers start writing their opinions and trying to get clicks on their site. There’s always a ‘this’ side and a ‘that’ side. You’re either on ‘this’ side, or you’re on ‘that’ side.
Something as straight forward as a church shooting in South Carolina has divided people. An evil act committed by a white person against black people, for the sole reason that they were black, and nothing more, is still bringing about argument. How is there any arguing? What is there to argue?!
Then there’s the Confederate Flag. Well, I guess by geography and ideology, I’m a Yankee. So what do I know about the Confederate Flag? When I was a kid, I just thought it’s what decorated the General Lee, the car driven by Bo and Luke Duke in the Dukes of Hazard. When I grew up, I knew it represented the South in the Civil War. But I didn’t put much thought into it.
Not until this week. The more and more I read about the history of that flag upsets me that it’s 2015, and states IN OUR UNITED States of America, still fly that flag high and are PROUD of it. What are you proud of?
The indentured servitude of a race of people that worked for free to for the success of the white plantation owner? Oh well, there were some nice plantation owners, and gosh darn, they housed and fed these people, so you know, how bad could it be? **bangs head against desk.
There’s this period of history called World War 2. Remember that? This guy Hitler invaded most of Europe and killed more than 6 million Jews in the attempt to rid this world of non blue-eyed white people (more or less). They flew a flag called a Swastika. If you think the Swastika and the Confederate flag are different, then you clearly haven’t read enough history.
Sorry. I got side tracked on my opinion of things. I realize that. I just feel an oppression of any race or religion is something that doesn’t need to be argued or defended. There’s right and there’s wrong, and that’s wrong.
So back to my original title of this blog post. Is anyone even listening anymore?
And it’s not even the Charleston tragedy that makes for debate. Let’s talk about Obamacare, gun control, immigration, gay marriage, transgenders, trophy hunting, vegan diets, police brutality….
How many things do you see in the news and your Facebook feed a day? How many come from headlines that are trying to make you read and feel something? What’s the source of the story?
You see the headline, click on the story and feel your blood rise. Your pulse quickens. It strikes to the very base of what you believe either for it or against it. When you share the article on your own news feed, are you telling people, “this is how I feel, take it or leave it”, or are you saying “I hope you read this and gain a new perspective”?
Everyone is talking, but no one is listening.
You can get people riled up over sunscreen. Yeah. Sunscreen. Mention you are wearing SPF at the beach and people are either for you because they have had a bout with a sketchy mole, or you get the folks telling you that you need Vitamin D and sunscreen is toxic. Want to mention you brought your kids to the doctor and had them vaccinated? Or forget that. It’s just going to start an argument that vaccines cause developmental delays or Autism. Big pharma can’t be trusted. I mean, come on. They’re just LETTING us die of cancer to make money. Everyone knows hemp and carrot juice cures cancer.
Climate change is fake. It’s Al Gore’s mission to take over the world with Leonardo DiCaprio and other Prius driving celebrities. Forget about category 5 hurricanes and drought. We don’t need to worry about Florida falling in the ocean in 100 years. Go on. Burn those fossil fuels. But wait, I drive a 12 year old minivan. Is that bad?
I don’t eat meat but I like Doritos. Am I contributing to the destruction of society by supporting Frito Lay?
I feel like anything I do or say is going to be argued against. And sure, I speak up and spout off about things I care about. And I’m sure the person arguing with me cares about their perspective too. We all have a story, we all have a point of view.
The kids and I met President Obama last year. Pretty cool. But not everyone thought it was cool. I get that. But hey, be happy for us because we were happy. I don’t care what you think of the guy (well, I kind of do. I would think you would respect his office and his position, but well… I’ve seen a lot of the opposite lately.) at least scroll on by, or just be polite. It’s one of those things we do as grown ups.
But if you disagree with something on Facebook, or anywhere for that matter, do you have to say anything really? What if you just ignored it? Conversation and discourse is great. But it’s only productive when it’s done with sensitivity, compassion, and intelligence. Lately, I’ve done a lot of scrolling!
You’re never going to bring a person to Jesus by banging them on the head with a Bible. Right? So switch it up. Think for the other side once in awhile.
Maybe this blog today isn’t making a lot of sense. Maybe it’s rambling and whiny. I guess I’m just tired. Tired of no one listening.