Social media had been a channel where many platforms are readily available to share, interact and voice your opinions on. We have the freedom to share things about our lives, our likes, dislikes and tolerances. It simply amazes me how many broken friendships, relationships and families are damaged by blowing up over certain topics. Growing up there were two main subjects we were always told to avoid discussing unless you were gamed for a heated argument: religion and politics. I noticed over the past eight years that social media has opened the door for some engaging conversations that have turned brutal.
Since the increase in popularity of social media over the past 10 years, everyone has an opportunity to get on their soap box and discuss things on their minds. Oftentimes, their opinions become serious offenses that get practically everyone fired up and end up igniting verbal fights in the comment sections on blogs, articles, op-ed pieces and social media sites. Some people are un-friending long-time friends, acquaintances and even family members who they get into a fiery sparring match with. I realize how passionate people are about things or views they like or disagree with, but come on now, just because we have the freedom of speech that does not give us the license to be downright mean.
I am connected to many people of different ethnicities, denominations, political affiliations and economic levels on social media. While many of their comments or viewpoints were/are different from mine, I try not to be brutally offensive if I want to share a thought or opinion different from theirs. There is an intelligent way of getting your point across in my opinion. What’s even more disconcerting is the type of language that comes from the mouths of many people who claim to be God-fearing “Christians.” Some of the stuff I read that they have written simply blows my mind, and makes me wonder what Bible they are studying and what doctrine they are following!
My mother used to say, listen and think before you speak. You have “two” ears and “one” mouth for a reason. Once words come out of your mouth, you can make a public insult, but sometimes it’s very difficult for that person to accept a private apology. If you intentionally say something that will hit below the belt and hurt someone, you could do some serious damage, not just to them, but to yourself. While people think that trying to be prudent when responding or speaking to others may come off as wimpy, saying whatever comes to your mind and intentionally insulting others simply because you can, does not give you the license to say whatever you want and not expect to suffer the consequences as a result of it. If you dish it out, you have to be willing to take it.
Yes, we can discuss religion, we can discuss politics and we can discuss other sensitive issues. But if you want to indulge in a healthy conversation, even if our views vary, then we can have an intelligent conversation without getting downright nasty. Yet, if you want to simply pick a fight, then we have nothing to discuss. In light of this being an election year, there is a tremendous amount of mud-slinging going on. But remember, people have feelings and families. Let’s talk about the issues, but let’s do it responsibly, intelligently and civilly. That’s my soapbox moment for today! And as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that!”