Random Rants And Rumbles

 

 

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?

35 thoughts on “Random Rants And Rumbles

  1. This is interesting, suzicate. I have some dear friends with whom I disagree politically, and we never discuss this kind of thing in person. But for the past month on Facebook, I’ve felt tremendously offended by the things they “share” – not even their own words but, you know, “things” floating around the internet, that are horrible and insulting to the people who disagree with their beliefs. I know that my friends are not nasty people, but the whole thing has made me call their character into question – something I would never before have done. So I have to take a step back, trying to separate the person I know from the things they are posting. I’m glad it’s over, but it has made me look at some people differently. And that’s never happened just because of politics before.

    And it makes me sad.

    • It seems people puff up behind Facebook!
      Yes, it’s often through links they share and make their own comments about “morons” etc. who don’t hold the same opinion. And no. I’m not just referring to politics…there are a few other subjects as well. And yes, it also makes me sad and question the character of those who post those things…ironic when they’re “promoting peace” yet causing contention.

  2. Well said Suzicate. I intentionally disengage from those that thrust their need to argue, proclaim, and antagonize. I tell myself it’s not helpful. I couldn’t agree with you more about doing rather than posting. What are they doing? Do they even know? I am, also, preparing for the onslaught after the winner is announced. Oh boy. :-/

  3. Amen, Suzi! Great post!

    “Are we more interested in making a difference or pushing our views on others? ”

    To be honest, I think many people are more interested in pushing their views on others. And not only concerning this presidential election, but other topics such as religious or spiritual beliefs.

    “Of the many ways to express support for a cause, volunteering our time or donating our money top the list.”

    Agreed. DOING instead of always talking about it.

    I know that Facebook is very popular and useful for certain things, but I deleted my account last spring because it’s turned into nothing but one big social media of mudslinging and gossip. I find the ‘energy’ of Facebook extremely negative and don’t want to expose myself to it.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    Again, great post!
    X

    • Tempted to drop FB as well. I was recently introduced to Google Plus which allows you to create circles which is much different. Example…I do not subscribe to politics but I subscribe to photography and food! I haven’t found the negativity that I do on FB.

  4. Good question! I’ve tried hard this season to be neutral and kind, especially in social media. I, like Seasweetie, have been offended by vulgar and mean posts, and I have found it very difficult not to judge some people for their posts. Not to mention that once you’ve posted something online, even if you remove it, it’s still out there somewhere in cyberspace. I think a good rule is not to say online what you would not say to someone face to face. And there’s wisdom in sometimes keeping your opinions to yourself.

    • You’re exactly right. I try to be a person whose values are exemplified by my life rather than having to speak out or post about everything I think nor do I feel everyone must think like me. I don’t think our opinions should be used to make ourselves feel superior or others inferior. Differing opinions don’t make one party right and the other wrong. We have varying truths among us and we must learn to be respectful.

  5. The uncivil discourse on both sides is too much for me. I’ve found myself taking longer and longer breaks from FB because I’m just done with it all.

    Sad thing is, I used to love politics and following them. And now it just seems like a lot of screaming at each other, even when we both want the same thing, with different ways of going about getting there. 5 year olds are more civilized than many of the ‘grownups’ on social media.

  6. I really have no problem with people saying “Get out and vote” on facebook. I think it’s important that we do vote. How we vote is very personal to me and I get tired of the “one trick pony” act when it’s either slanted to the far right or far left. I won’t watch MSN or Fox News for that reason. I don’t care who Lady Gaga votes for, or who Brad Pitt votes for. I just hope we come out with a winner we can all live with. It’s worked for a lot of years. I’m generous with my “causes” but I don’t ask all my FB friends to contribute to them. Nor do I want them pushing me to join their causes.

    • I don’t mind the “Get out and vote” posts either…it’s the nasty ones about candidates I don’t like. Nor do I mind post asking for donations for support of causes it’s the ones who call others names I don’t like.

  7. Suzicate, You have hit the nail on the head here my friend, I have all but stopped checking my FB account for this reason, we all have our opinions as you said and just because they differ at times is no reason to stoop to name calling.

    I have tried to stay away from posting political opinions on my blog but you know it sometimes slips out and even then I don’t dwell on this topic.

    Yes get out and vote, vote for who and what you agree with because only then do you have the right to express your opinion, and when you do so just don’t try to cram it down my throat.

    Social media can be a good thing, I just think it has gotten so overbearing that it is almost worthless now…but yet that is just my opinion 🙂

    Excellent Post SC

  8. Well said, Suzi. I’ve always believed that people can disagree without being disagreeable. This election seems to have been particularly polarizing and nasty, for some reason. It’s sad that it’s brought to the foreground so much name-calling and finger-pointing. Not being a Facebook user, I’ve managed to avoid lots of that, though!

  9. Ooh, I hope my recent sheriff post that I did for a writing challenge didn’t come off as offensive. This is the reason I don’t really get into political discussions (even with family) – differences will happen and they can get ugly when opposing sides feel justified.

    I don’t do FB or Twitter, so I can’t say whether or not it’s the right place to voice opinions. The problem with online discussions is that sometimes they are downright vicious. People write things online that they wouldn’t say to someone’s face (I don’t get that…)

    • I don’t remember it so I guess not. I don’t have problems with blog posts or even FB when people just say things nicely…I don’t like the nastiness and name calling.

  10. I genuinely have no problem with people encouraging each other to vote. I do however don’t really want to read each person’s political affiliation and how they feel about a particular candidate. Sometimes it is just too much.

  11. Each one of us has a different personality, and what is posted on social media is very likely what you’d get in face-to-face interaction. At least on Facebook, you scroll to the next one and are done with it. 🙂

    • Many of those conversations would not occur in person…they hide behind FB. At least, I know some of the post would not have been personally stated followed with an insult. But yes it is what makes the world go round.

  12. As a member of an extreme minority (conservatives in MA), I learned a long time ago that even rational political discourse doesn’t work if the person you’re trying to discuss something with has already made up their mind about your beliefs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been picked on by people who supposedly are so much more enlightened than I am, but I try to rise abovet it. I hate to admit that I don’t always succeed even though most of the time I do just by keeping my mouth shut. I even defriended someone who basically told me that if I couldn’t vote for Obama I shouldn’t even bother to vote. I accept that not everyone has the same belief system I do. I just wish everyone could respect that fact. The 2000 election changed politics forever in this country, imo, and not in a good way.

  13. The negativity of the candidates this year was especially disheartening. I can’t remember a campaign season filled with more lies and rude mudslinging about other candidates. So sad.

  14. Ha, I think this post is funny, and your question is funny. First of all, what I think is so funny is your survey. Not ONE post about food? That is really funny. Most of my feed is about food. Most of my ACTIVE FB friends are people I have met through YELP so most of my feed is FOOD! Even during the election time food topped the list. Made me laugh you didn’t have ONE about food. Did you not count your sister’s?

    And I think your question is funny because I think that the answer is just like people’s beliefs and opinions. To me social media IS the right forum to express ones beliefs and opinions for those who think it is. It is not the right place for everyone. 🙂

    • I surveyed the first 100 posts that came across my page and hers was not in it…on my google page I would have had a lot of food and photography and probably no politics. I don’t mind so much if people post opinions, but I do mind when they call people offensive names if they don’t agree with them. If they want everyone to agree, perhaps they shouldn’t post so everyone can see it…or more importantly, people should at least agree to disagree. I’m not going to get into specifics here on my comments, but some of the things I’ve seen are highly offensive. I don’t think it’s right to call anyone some of the names that were called….

      • I think that if an opinion is expressed in a public, social place the person doing it should be prepared for people to post their opinions that might be different. But being rude about it and calling people names or being offensive is not necessary.

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