Let’s Put The ‘Social’ Back In Social Media: Don’t Turn Facebook Into HATEbook.

Two years ago, I wrote about “Why I Love Facebook” (read here). Three years ago I wrote another blog called, “Easy Facebook Etiquette: How to get along in the neighborhood” (read here).

After reading the posts during the recent election and the day after, I went back and read my two blogs again. My opinions haven’t changed (although my job has). Facebook is social media, emphasis on ‘social’- as in “party, gathering, get-together” – and most of what’s been posted has been quite anti-social.

I love my Facebook friends, I love my live friends, and I love my live friends who are on Facebook.

I do not love what many of them are saying. There has been gloating, un-friending, anger, hate, vicious attacks … and then there have been really nasty things posted.


I don’t discuss politics. I don’t post politics – although I have reposted some memes that were just too funny – I’m sorry; Donald Trump’s hair has been a thing for me since I was a teenager – but after things got ‘real’ I stopped. Because things got so heated towards the end of the race, I did involve myself in a little political conversation with a few around me. I will tell you now that I was on the side that ‘lost’ – and I will also tell you I wasn’t fond of either side, and that voting did not make me feel good.


I am only telling you this because I want it known that what I say here has nothing to do with what side I was on; this is not gloating, nor is it sour grapes. Yes, I was disappointed with the outcome, for my own reasons; but I am also aware that the game is not over and that life will – and has to – go on.

We all knew this was going to be a tough election for everyone. We were all in that together. And we all knew that one side would be disappointed. None of this was a surprise, yet people are acting more divisive and angry than they were before the outcome was revealed.

“You are not my friend if you voted for – “. “I’m leaving the country if – wins.” “You are not a nice person if you voted for – “

If any of you have read anything I’ve ever posted or blogged about, you know where I stand on many ‘issues’.  I have very strong opinions about certain things, and I talk or write about them every single time a thought crosses my mind.

But one theme that keeps popping up in my writing/talking is connectedness, and I believe in that more strongly than anything else.

What depresses me most is the disconnectedness I am seeing. If we all agree that we each have our own opinions and our own right to our own opinion, why is it that we are battling each other over having them?

One of my live/Facebook friends posted something nasty about Hillary when the outcome was revealed, and then one hour later posted an “I saw someone who had real problems – get the fuck over it” type of post. This is a person I consider loving and kind, too.

Yesterday, I had a bit of personal happy that I wanted to share – and someone tried to discourage me from posting about it because of possible backlash, as in, “How could you post something positive while this country is going to shit?”

What?

(I posted anyway.)

We really do have bigger issues than this; we have the ones that are right in front of our faces, the ones we have to deal with daily. A gentle reminder to someone that “things could be worse, let’s put it into perspective” is one thing; but condemning someone so harshly for their feelings is another, especially when you know that the election was so close that it could have been your side that lost. You know how strong your feelings were for your choice – how would you be feeling if you were truly concerned about something and people just kept telling you to “get over it!”?

Your feelings matter (coincidentally – if I believed in coincidences – I wrote about that, too. Read here). All of your feelings, even the negative ones. You have them for a reason. You are allowed to have them.

So is everyone else. You can feel proud that your candidate won, scared because yours didn’t, or even sick to your stomach that those two were our choices. You even have the right to voice your opinion.
But to think you have the right to invalidate and insult someone else because theirs doesn’t agree with yours is something else entirely.

We are not being kind. We are being divisive and hateful. We will end up killing this country faster than one ‘representative’ will, because we are the foundation.

If you know me at all, you know that I do not follow the (m)asses. I speak up whenever I feel the need to, and I always will. I will continue to write/speak on the issues that I believe or don’t believe in, and I will live by what I say – or do my best to.

I will not go against my belief in unity; I can’t. I will try not to participate in divisive behavior.

That being said:

I live in the United States; that makes this my country. My collective country voted that Donald Trump should be president of my country; that makes him my president. Even if he wasn’t my personal choice. Even if I may be upset that he won.

And I will continue to speak out about what I believe in, at every opportunity. I will also try to come up with new solutions for things I believe to be problems. I will honor my own opinions and feelings and yours, as well. If I try to invalidate you and yours, I am invalidating my own.

I have a responsibility to my belief in unity – but I do not have responsibility for the actions and thoughts of anyone else.

Please, everyone, understand that no matter your opinions we are all in this together.

Together.

Facebook is our place to play, to laugh, to connect. Allow others to have their own opinions. Let’s not violate this privilege we have. 
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