Guys, I’m really scared. I’m scared and also genuinely disturbed. I’m scared and disturbed by what my Twitter and Facebook feeds have been saturated with as of late, especially following the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.
It seems to me that some of my friends on Facebook and those I follow on Twitter are not short of any opinions on politics, race, border control, immigrants – and that’s OK. That is a beautiful thing. We’ve been blessed with brains, the ability to think and millions of us have the right to free speech. We’ve got it good!
Ok, now, what is scaring me is the decisiveness and divisiveness of those friends and acquaintances of mine on social media channels. What I read shows me that people are angry, scared and worried and that they are very black and white on a number of topics. Some of my friends post that no single refugee should be admitted to the U.S. because all people from the Middle East are terrorists. Some of my friends are calling each other racists for thinking we shouldn’t allow refugees into the country. It’s like a tennis match. I watch the ball fly from one end of the court all the way the hell over to the other side, and then back again, all the while shaking my head in sadness.
This “rant” has been building up for me over some time now. This isn’t commentary on the recent terrorist attacks or the presidential race. My observations and commentary span a variety of subject matters from the very serious to the very not serious, so please don’t read this as my personal thoughts on such large matters as the attacks. If you know me at all, you know I rarely, if ever, post my opinion about serious issues online. That is my personal choice and I mostly stick to it (there are definite exceptions). If you want to know my opinion on a hot button issue, I’d be more than happy to opine verbally and have an actual productive conversation without any name calling.
Despite most of this being rather rambling, the point I want to make is very clear: Everything isn’t always black and white. Life and the world have gray spots. There is always something to learn and always a way to grow.
Like I said, we are all entitled to our opinion – it’s a beautiful thing. This is me spewing my opinion. However, grandstanding with small-minded, uniformed thoughts on social media doesn’t make you right (or wrong), it just makes me unfollow or unfriend you. And NOT because I disagree with you! You know that Internet troll go-to, “if you don’t like it don’t read/watch it.” I’ll go right ahead an exercise that regardless of my stance on the matter, thank you very much.
Seriously all – life is so precious and so short and I get that vocalizing your opinion and thoughts is a great thing and a productive way to grow and change for the better, but a lot of you are coming off as real jerks – plain and simple. (Am I now contradicting myself? In fact, this is all kind of a walking contradiction isn’t it?)
Have some grace and decorum. Remember that every single thing you post online is etched in the proverbial Internet stone. Speak with intelligence and always try to learn more from different sources and schools of thought. That’s why life is so rich – we all have individual thoughts and feelings. We have choice. These are the things that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. There’s so much of life to be enjoyed and I worry that we are so consumed with shouting our opinions that we’re neglecting the bigger picture.
Now if you haven’t already, go watch this touching video of a French father and son being interviewed. Think about the flowers and candles. Pray (if you do) and send good thoughts to those all over the world who have died or have been injured at the hands of madmen and those who are reeling from loss. Above all else, be good to each other. Ok?