I have spoken on more than one occasion about opinions, feelings, and beliefs. The personal nature of these things is something that is facinating to me with my background in Psychology and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the ideology of others. Do I always understand it? No, not even remotely, but I respect that the person has their God given right to feel or believe whatever it is that they so choose.
That being said, I am beginning to feel like this sometimes….
It reminds me of my first Philosophy course in high school where, on the very first day of class, the professor asked us to raise our hands to show where we stood on certain ‘hot topics’ of controversy that were currently in the media. I knew these kids. We had classes together and extracurricular activities…I had seen them in the halls daily for years.
But the moment the hands started going up I was shocked right out of my socks.
Gay marriage, death penalty, religion…these were some of the things mentioned. As I saw the varying opinions in the room, there was a part of me wished that I could un-know them right then and there. While I can certainly respect that people will not always see eye to eye when it comes to these types of issues, it can be difficult to digest that people that you once had a tremendous amount of respect for are the ones on the side that you think is obviously the “incorrect” side to be on.
Thank you, Facebook.
Facebook, for me, is a place to share humorous anecdotes and photographs- your standard typical mommy fare. I enjoy reading about people’s lives and following them on their journey in this life after we bid farewell at graduation. In it’s infancy, I perceived Facebook as a gift. How lucky were we that technology, in all of it’s glory, was allowing us to keep up with the people in our lives that we would otherwise not receive an update on until the ten and twenty year reunions? How fantastic to be able to watch high school and college friends and acquaintances’ children being born and growing! I was a fan -a huge one- for years. I posted frequently and without abandon and checked my news feed more often than I would like to admit.
Although now, every single time that I check it, it seems as though it is a technological soapbox platform on which everyone stands to cram their radical and firm opinions down everyone else’s throats.
Whoa. Let’s calm down, now. Do you really need to post five photos and articles in one afternoon about your second amendment right? I am certainly not attempting to silence your first amendment right to blab your opinion all over the internet but is five necessary? Look, I know that you believe that Obama is ruining this country and is tantamount to the antichrist but how many more memes are you planning to post in a row so that I can plan a hiatus here? I know, I know, there is nothing in this world that you hate more conspiracy theorists but there is no need to post fourteen links to articles that agree with you. One really would have sufficed.
Please do not mistake that I am against a good opinion or a thought provoking, solid argument in defense of it, actually. I love a well thought out and valid argument. This has not been my experience as of late, however, as it actually looks more like this…
There is no fact, no research, no true amount of thought going into it. It’s a free-for-all of “I think this because I do and you’re wrong because I am right and maybe if I use enough SAT words I will sound as though I have put more thought into this than reading Gawker or Reddit every so often!” followed by a response of “No! I AM right because you are wrong and I think so because I was raised to and no amount of research or public opinion is going to change that!”
Mostly, I stay my happy little behind out of it, even when I agree, because I refuse to argue with the guy that sat behind me Freshman year in Lit because he thinks that boycotting a chicken restaurant that I enjoy is an essential part of showing solidarity for a social issue. I don’t even know you, dude, and your opinion on gay marriage is clear from your profile picture. I’m for gay marriage, too, I just happen to also really like Polynesian sauce, okay? Get off my back already.
Can we just go back to the days when Facebook was still brand new and everyone was excited to have it? Back when there was more posts from friends than sponsors? Back to when it wasn’t the “cool” thing to do to post random photos that demand you “like” them if you are against racism, puppy beating, or other egregious acts? Of course, I am against puppy beating but what is liking this picture really going to do about it? Is the guy about to beat the puppy going to check Facebook first and say, “No, three thousand people can’t be wrong”, and put the puppy down? No, I don’t want to sign your online petition, I just want to post a cute picture of Jp just in case my Iphone is ever stolen and my computer crashes simultaneously (stranger things have been known to happen, people!).
Oh, and as final thought to this totally useless rant that I am pretty much complaining about people doing on Facebook -yet I created an entire blog to spout my personal opinion daily- here is my closing…
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.