Since the seemingly never ending presidential campaign and when the election was finally over, I have watched people debate and argue on Facebook. Social Media (actually the people in it) has left my heart broken. The worst part is, not only have I lost respect for those I don’t know, but more importantly, I have lost respect for those I do know.
Seeing the bitter disputes among friends,family members and even total strangers just kept chipping away at my soul. One of the last straws was when someone I know called someone they didn’t know names for disagreeing with their beliefs.
I’ve had several real-life conversations about this. Some of my friends have unfollowed people or as a last resort, unfriended people. I’ve read posts where people have unabashedly proclaimed on their FB wall that if you didn’t agree with them to go ahead and unfriend them! I was tempted to do just that.
When I accidentally left my phone at home and was disengaged from the cacophony that is social media, I realized I could survive without it.
I have a Catholic Planner and in it there is a weekly retreat. One Friday, I attended daily Mass and afterward headed for the Starbucks where I spent a couple of hours writing and participating in the retreat. The walk home was glorious and I hadn’t felt that good in weeks! The dreary days of January broke wide open and I had sunshine!
So now what? I’ve decided to limit my social media activity. I will post to promote my blogs, occasionally post on my personal page and limit the reading of my personal news feed. It’s a matter of my own soul’s survival.
Sometimes I do admire those that can engage in all this, but it’s not for me. I guess you could say I’m a snowflake or a cupcake, but I didn’t quit my job last year and begin a new life with new goals, to be distracted by intolerant people. We should be able to disagree and still be able to maintain a relationship. I’m happy to say that I do have those relationships, especially with one of my fellow bloggers.
Another fellow blogger (who I agree with on many topics) has been blocked by several bloggers on ChicagoNow (there’s got to be an Amazon gift card for him for that distinction!). He’s never banned anyone on his own blog. I was shocked when he emailed me the short-list of bloggers who have banned him from their pages. Some of those were a surprise to me (and a disappointment because I thought they had more guts than that), but most were not. It’s their page and they can do what they want.
I’ve banned one person in my six years of blogging. When this person found out, he made sure to let me know that he knew about it. Now that I think about it, maybe it was because he was just plain creepy.
Social media has left my heart broken. How has it affected you? How have you handled relationships where you found yourself at polar opposites in opinions?
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