Saturday, November 21, 2015

Is Social Media making us Hardnosed?



It doesn’t matter to me what you believe about politics, religion, or finances. I don’t care who you support politically and I won’t hate you if we disagree.

So what if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or a carnivore?  It simply has nothing to do with me. More importantly, if you’re Christian, Muslim, Atheist, or Agnostic, if we’re friends or family, I will look past our differences and look at what we have in common. Moreover, I will listen to you with compassionate and empathy.

You can post whatever you want, wherever you choose, and I am ok with that!  

That said, if I feel you’re open minded enough to have a debate, I might debate with you.  But trust me on this, I won’t unfriend, unfollow, or disown you if we disagree.  I enjoy a great debate and I won’t hold your opinions against you regardless how heated our debate might become.  The truth is that no matter what our differences might be, it has no bearing on me personally. I won’t take your opinion personally because it has nothing to do with me, even if your comments are directed at me. It is merely an opinion.

Since the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday, November 13th, 2015, social media have been flooded with personal opinions. There have been numerous comments on the event and the fallout on social media was swift. Many people have unfriended each other based on what these comments meant to them. To be sure, there were some very ugly comments in the newsfeeds. Emotions were volatile and by and large people held very strong opposing opinions. Terrible things were written, and shared widely, largely to people who didn’t even know each other.

Which begs the question, is social media making us inflexible and jerks?  Are we becoming more egocentric, in that we believe our opinion matters and is paramount? I think, yes we are and yes, we most certainly do. 

And, I also think social media gives us a false sense of courage, and ironically our anonymity online makes us feel important. The fact is because we are not face to face, looking into the eyes of a person, that we have the courage to espouse our unfiltered and sometime knee jerk reactions to something we have read online but really this can be an act of cowardliness. Furthermore, more often than not we are not held responsible for the fallout that ensues after certain comments are posted. We can simple disappear from the conversation or troll silently following the discussion thread, feeling self-important.

If we exercised a sober second thought about what we write on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, we might never even post online. For me, this is certainly true that I delete more comments I begin to write after thinking about it than I actually post. This is particularly true if I am commenting on something that has annoyed me.  Sometimes, I will read something online and say to myself, “OMG!” “idiot”, “Does that person not fact check”, “WTH”, etc. Then, I will quickly write a critical and judgmental reply.  But then, I have trained myself to pause and decide whether or not to delete my comment because my opinion on social media to virtual strangers in the greater scheme of things, does not matter!  

Thankfully, humanity is culturally diverse with varying points of view. I can’t imagine what this world would look like if everyone thought like me. Well, I can, and it would be pretty awesome.  But, I digress! 

On the whole, my opinion is that if you want a simpler life and keep your blood pressure in check, don’t take everything you read on social media as a personal affront to your character, integrity, morals, or ethics.  The more you let go of your ego, the freer you are and the less of a jerk you become.  And if you are tempted to lash out in haste, it is very therapeutic to put down in words exactly how you are feeling.  But take a deep breath and then delete it! 


The foregoing was my personal opinion and hopefully was not an affront to anyone who reads it. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t comment. LOL

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