I've been traveling with my two oldest daughters looking at colleges and interviewing with coaches for the past four days. I have been driving, sleeping, talking, laughing and eating my way through the midwest. The one thing I haven't been doing is checking social media. I just didn't have time and with the exception of posting one pizza-eating photo, I never looked at Facebook or Twitter.
When we finally arrived home and settled, I threw on some cozy pj's and couldn't wait to catch up on everyone's actions. I started seeing the red equal signs as profile pictures and didn't get it. I then started reading some of my messages. This what someone wrote on my wall:
"HEY! Just wondering if you're changing your profile picture to RED tomorrow, Just copy mine if you'd like!"
That was Monday. By Tuesday morning, the message was:
"Go RED girl! Today's the day!"
"Still not RED? What's the problem? Do you not support the cause? I thought you did."
"Why is your face still there? Everyone needs to be RED - that includes you!!!"
Every couple of hours on Wednesday:
"What's the problem? By keeping your profile picture the same, it's like saying you're against equality"
"If you aren't for it, you're against it"
"Are you really not going to fucking change your profile? It's such a little thing. I guess I know the real you now."
"What a bitch. You think you deserve equality but everyone doesn't? So fucking selfish."
"I've decided to unfriend everyone that isn't red. Goodbye forever."
I was reading all of this with my mouth wide open. I tried to respond and tell him to get over it, I was just out of town and had no idea the Human Rights Campaign asked everyone to change their profile to the red equal sign to support equality in marriage. But I couldn't. I was blocked.
It's not really a big deal since I didn't really know him that well anyway, but it lead me to wonder why so many people take Facebook so seriously. Had I been connected and had any kind of clue, I would have jumped on the red band wagon, but that's not the point. The point is that people get into incredibly heated debates on Facebook. I've watched endless amounts of friendships dissolve because of disagreements on controversial statements made in a status update.
I've read so many insane arguments over the whole red equality profile pictures, that it just made me sad.
We're all different and we all have different opinions. You're most likely NOT going to change anyone's mind on Facebook. It's time to stop being so judgmental and have fun with social media. A healthy debate is great, but hurling insults and attacking someone's character just because you don't agree with their post is crazy. You are not going to change who they are. You are just going to piss them and others off. If you hate their beliefs that much, then simply unfriend them.
It's Facebook. It's meant to be fun. It's meant to allow you to giggle at the pictures of the guy you thought you were going to marry when you were in high school. It's to promote fun cartoons and interesting blogs/articles. It's to get people to help find their lost dog. It's to help a couple adopt a baby or find a job. It's for promoting a social movement. It's not for ripping on people for what you think is their WRONG opinion.
The thought behind the red equal sign is marriage equality. I get it. I also think Facebook is a great medium to promote the cause. It's powerful. However, if someone doesn't want to or wasn't able to change their profile, then give them permission to believe what they want to as well.
It's just Facebook people. Relax.
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