Yesterday I posted this on my Facebook page:
"I always have thought Facebook is a fun place to connect with old friends, etc. Definitely not a platform for political rants, arguments and religiously inflamed comments. Two things I was taught as a child to never discuss if you want peace: Religion and politics. I'll always agree and wish others did as well. A simple comment here and there, ok! But severely opinionated comments need to be kept to themselves. My own opinion and I'm sticking to it. That's all."
I wasn't sure what kid of reaction it would get which is not the reason I made the statement. It was after I saw a post between two people in my newsfeed that I felt I had to speak up. One of the parties had posted a joke regarding the political rants that have been going on; the other, the recipient of the cartoon took the opportunity to make some very inflammatory comments about a very sensitive subject: abortion. It wasn't even in the same context as the cartoon and I couldn't imagine the logic of throwing it in there. There is a lot of ranting and mud slinging going around of Facebook right now. I do get it.
People have always had opinions, strong opinions when it comes to politics and religion. In this past year I have seen that the two have been too closely linked together. MY OPINION. People are struggling financially and emotionally with the current state of the economy. There is a massive amount of frustration amongst the masses and I get that some are looking for a platform to speak their minds. However, it's becoming evident that perhaps the original idea for Facebook has been lost. The fun, getting to know you, getting to find you after all these years concept of it is drowning in the ugliest campaign I have ever seen. Not just ugly amongst the candidates. Ugly amongst the general population.
Once upon a time Mark Zuckerberg had a great idea. One of the most brilliant in documented history as Facebook holds the title of the largest social networking site in the world with 845,000,000 users. Now, one could say to themselves "Wow, what a platform I have to get my point across!".
When I created my Facebook account several years ago, it was done to reconnect with old friends. I didn't want to spy on my daughters - I hoped to make it easier to keep in contact with people. I enjoy so many aspects of it. I love to see photos of friends children as they have grown up, or their grandkids as they are born and blossom. I like to read articles that are shared; listen to music that people recommend. I enjoy pictures of other things people post such as nature, fashion and other things that make me smile or even make me sad. Pictures of fallen soldiers; pictures of double rainbows that someone went insanely happy over.
I get that we have a country that values it's freedom of speech. I truly do. Yet lately that freedom of speech is breaking up friendships, causing vile arguments and dividing the country and it's people more so than ever. I was afraid to comment last night on how much I enjoyed former President Bill Clinton's speech. The expected slew of "what about Monica Lewinski" and "what about perjury" attacks kept me from it. But I will say it was good. No, I will say it was great. It was inspirational. What I took away from it is that it's an achievable dream to wish that the two political parties could find a way to work together. That the dream of bipartisanship in the US could be achieved if everyone would stop slinging mud; stop being angry all the time.
Diversity makes the world go around. No one is ever going to agree on everything. Yet, there are ways to argue sides constructively; to take off horse blinders and see that people have good reasons for their opinions.
Let's reserve Facebook for the joys and sorrows of our lives. Not the rantings of political and religious zealots. It's destructive and counter productive. Let the politicians fight it out and let ourselves all pray for the one thing every beauty contestant in the world has ever wanted.