Awesome. I still had about four and a half hours to sleep. First, I went to the bathroom- scaring my Husband who hadn't heard me mumble, "Going to the bathroom"- and was not expecting a dark silhouette to come towards him as he rolled over. (History tells us that if I don't attempt to warn Kyle that I'm leaving the bed for one reason or another, he will most likely jump, gasp, or yell at some point...scaring us both.)
I get back to bed and of course- I can't fall asleep. Instead, I get an unexplained stomach ache and lay in an odd, crumpled position trying to ensure that my kitty, Moneypenny, is comfortable under the covers and nestled into the crook of my arm.
Even worse though is my over active mind. If you have one- you get it. I'm always baffled that people can successfully shut off their minds. Willing themselves to just close their eyes and sleep. Amazing!
Instead though, I just reel the same thoughts over and over about all of the Political discussions I had read and heard about early in the day. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, "I should just write a blog post about this." Generally speaking, I try to stay out of Politics. Especially when social media is the platform. But I told myself that if school was cancelled today- I'd write the post.
So, here I am.
This isn't so much about Politics and my opinions of them- but more- my thoughts on how people tend to communicate their thoughts and feelings. I think that a lot of people confuse passion and obligation with trampling anyone in their way, regardless of who they are and sometimes even what they're talking about, to make their opinions known or to win an argument.
That's. Not. Cool.
It's never been cool to hurt people's feelings to hammer home your point. It doesn't matter if someone may be more sensitive or emotional than you are, it doesn't matter that someone may have leanings towards a different Political party than you, it doesn't matter that what you're trying to get across may personally affect you or someone you know. Don't be a jerk about it. There's no need.
I respect and admire people who can have a discussion about something over social media- and not come across as aggressive and belittling.
I don't like it when people start the name calling. I mean, do you really think that calling someone a bigot or an idiot or piece of crap is going to help them see your point? Absolutely not. It'll either make you look like a jerk, make the person you're talking to feel awful, or it'll just take away from your message. None of those things are good, in case you were unsure.
I've often seen people say things like, "Well, I don't care how they feel about what I say!" or "I really could care less that I've hurt their feelings." or "They deserve it for thinking that way!" I mean, the second you have that mindset- you've lost what you're even fighting for. Again, not a good thing.
I'm going to assume that if you're sharing a Political post (or opinion on someone else's post) on social media that you're well aware that people are going to react. There will be people that validate you by having the same opinion. There will be people who are vehemently opposing your view. There will be people who "laugh" at something that you think is important. If you can't handle opposition- don't share the post. If you can't communicate in a respectful way so that no-one feels attacked or misunderstood- don't share the post.
Most of you know that I'm pretty conservative in most avenues of my life- that's me and I'm totally fine with it. But I have a lot of acquaintances and even close friends who are much more liberal and we just do not agree on things. The relationships that are genuine are the ones where we don't necessarily agree on every issue out there but we respect each other by listening and communicating thoughtfully.
I really don't understand why people don't think other people's feelings are important- just because they don't mirror their own opinions and values. I've personally been bullied over social media because of my personal convictions...and it sucks. It just does. It hurts. I cried. I felt misunderstood. And you know what? I'm really not in the business of making other people feel that way just to prove a point.
Just like I think it's pretty ridiculous to call someone a homophobic bigot, I think it's equally ridiculous that people can go off on someone and then finish with, "I'll pray for you."
Friends, you can't do that. Don't be that person. Yes! Pray for them. But don't shout that they're going to hell and belittle their opinions and mock their feelings- and then close it out with a "God bless you." It won't work. It won't help. It won't encourage them. It will hurt them, instead.
I personally tend to share posts about animal neglect or abuse. It's something that I really care about and want to regularly keep others informed that animals need us too. Yes, there are a million other causes that are important and that you should stand behind, but this is the one that tugs at my heart strings. This being said- I can get pretty firy about it. And I'm sure there have been times when I unintentionally pointed a finger or generalized a group of people- and I'm sorry for that if something is coming to your mind. It's never, ever my intention to hurt other people. If I've hurt you and either never knew or never apologized- let me know. Send me a message.
I want people to understand that you can't hear tone on social media. I think often times, people tune out how they're hurting their cause or hurting other people by name calling and just spitting profanities like it's nothing. If I see that your post is creating drama by the way you're speaking to other commentors - I move on. And I won't be the only one that will pass by your post because it turns into a drama fest instead. If your heart is in what you're sharing and you actually care about it- be polite. Be respectful. Communicate thoughtfully. Because yes, that person that you knew in high school but haven't talked to in ten years? Their feelings and opinions matter. And yes, that person that you met one time in passing that somehow ended up on your friend's list? Their feelings and opinions matter.
If you don't care what people think about what you share and if you don't care that they disagree with you- then why are you even sharing it? Why are you calling them names? Why are you bashing their views to make yours seem more valid? Didn't you post it because you wanted to inform people? To let them know what's going on and why it's important? And if by the end of that well-written conversation you don't agree? Move on, respectfully.
Social media and politics don't have to be all bad. You definitely have a hand in that.