I usually do not do posts that may be construed as controversial, but you know what? I have had it “up to here” lately! (I am sure you all see me standing here shaking my hand back and forth at my chin, don’t you?).
No matter where we turn these days someone is offended by something. One person is annoyed by the aisle signs at Target and another thinks that the new Minion movie is completely sexist. Others complain that parents who make a silly mistake or a funny post are ruining their children’s lives. The list really goes on and on.
I am sure many of you have seen these types of rants. They are sometimes on blog posts and start with “An Open Letter To __________” (fill in the blank for whatever person, organization or moment has them so up in arms). They then proceed to belittle, bash and put down that person for – GASP – not feeling the same way that they do about a topic. Oh, the horror!
The thing is, we are all individuals. That is what makes us unique and we should embrace that. Instead, I see adults (and really, I use that term very loosely as most act like four year olds fighting on the playground), actually fighting on social media. Yes, they really are fighting. They are using horrendously foul language. Sometimes, they make derogatory racist or sexual comments directed at the person with whom they do not agree. They bully. They belittle. They, well, like I said, act like kids fighting over a toy truck.
It has gotten absolutely ridiculous. I actually am hating social media these days because it seems that there is nothing but a fight. Heck! Even a good story about a police officer who stopped to buy ice cream for children turns into a debate about how they are in it only for the PR opportunity. (Insert Eye Roll).
I have one word for all of you…..
Seriously. It is ridiculous. Yes, we are all entitled to have our own opinions, but, since when is YOUR opinion the ONLY opinion. It is not. We are all entitled to think what we want to think. We all also have the freedom of speech. However, those freedoms do not mean that we do not have freedom from the consequences of said speech.
When you put something online, it is out there forever. It is there for everyone to see. You can’t deny it. You can’t hide from it. Look at all of the celebrities who have been caught saying one thing or another. They are all chastised and beaten down for doing or saying one thing. I tell you what, it makes me so glad that I am not in the spotlight so that someone can take one thing I do that is wrong and try to ruin me. Whew!!
Oh wait a minute. That does happen. It happens daily to people all across the country. It may not be in the same setting, but it is in your words. The things you say to others you do not know. The way you treat strangers. They way you bully them.
As adults, we all talk about how horrible it is for children to bully one another. I am pretty sure that most of us (if not all of us) could agree on that. However, why is it then OK for parents to bully one another online? I mean, should we not, as parents and adults, practice what we preach? Would you say these things if you were having a conversation with this person? It is in these moments that a keyboard is turned into a weapon of sorts as the words which come from it can be very hurtful and so hateful.
I am not saying you have to agree with everyone. That is impossible and I could not do that either. However, what I am saying is that you can share your opinion and still act respectful. If someone does not agree with you, why is there this absolute need to respond? Are these people’s lives so sad that they have nothing better to do than to troll social media and respond (many times over and over again) to people who may think differently than they do? I really do not get it.
I will admit that there are some times when I see two adults having a civilized discussion. However, those moments are so rare and far between that it really saddens me. When I see what is being done online, it makes me realize that we live in a society of narcissistic bullies who have nothing better do than stalk posts, perpetuate drama and just act like a horrible people.
At the end of the day, each of us is in control of what we post online. Yes, we have the right to type it. We have the right to hit publish. However, do you not remember that saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” I think many have forgotten about this. And that makes me so sad.