Now that I voted I can complain all I want! No, I simply did my civic duty, and will refrain from criticizing or promoting candidates or issues. Just like you I have beliefs and opinions but will allow you to make your own decisions.
However, some people want to merely be heard while others want to force their opinions and passions on others. What better way to get the word out than social media? We each exercise our voice. The problem is opinions are like hangnails; everyone has one at one time or another, but we find some more irritating than others. Which ones irritate us? Perhaps it is those in which we disagree. Why are some more persistent? Perhaps it’s fear of having a lone voice or an effort to promote a cause.
I don’t care if our opinions differ, but I do care if you call me an idiot or another distasteful name because I don’t share your opinion. I don’t care if we fight for different causes, but I do care if you judge me for not joining your cause. I don’t generally comment on these posts anyway, but I find the posts that state a cause and continue to insult potential unlike views distasteful…definitely not a way to turn me to your side!
Then you’ve got the political rants just itching for comments. They claim to enjoy political debate but then bash those who disagree. And there are those who post controversial subjects and step back to watch the action. I don’t engage in either of those. Why? No one has ever changed my view with such tactics and throwing such negativity back and forth is nonproductive.
Facebook has been as filled with mudslinging as the political campaigns. Today I decided to survey today’s postings. I was surprised and relieved by my findings. Perhaps other FB users have tired of the negativity as well. I counted the first one hundred posts on my wall. My tally: Voting topped subjects with a total of 37 posts. The difference is none of these were derogatory, and only five stressed a candidate or issue: Two stressed Obama, two mentioned God, and one was a link about voting like a yogi. Personal posts came in second (16) with God (12) coming in third. Gratitude and Blog posts tied for fourth at seven each. Public service posts and humor each totaled five while shared quotes were three, and weather and ad links came in at a measly two each! Of course, these statistics might change hourly!
We are daily bombarded with requests to save the trees, cats, dogs, dolphins, boobs, etc. We are told to pray to God, meditate on the universe, look within, or get a life. We are criticized or praised for diets, exercise regimes, habits, education, and religious affiliations. Are we more interested in making a difference or pushing our views on others? Are we wasting our time and efforts by posting when we could be out doing? Of the many ways to express support for a cause, volunteering our time or donating our money top the list.
The question remains: While we have the right to beliefs and opinions, is social media the right forum to express it?