If you thought the political ads were bad, try the political Facebook posts. The night of the election my news feed was riddled with post after post after post of people either praising or condemning Obama — and none of them were in any way helpful.
As Americans, we have big egos. We seem to think that we kind of rule the world, but as social media users our egos have gotten bigger. Some are worse than others, but we seem to be operating under the assumption that everyone wants to hear what we have to say about everything.
Here’s the thing: My friends on Facebook are my friends, sure, but that doesn’t mean that I particularly care what they have to say about Obama.
Why do you think that people always tell you to avoid politics and religion on the first date? Because it inevitably ends up in an argument about who’s right and who’s wrong, when in all actuality there is no right or wrong answer. I firmly believe that politics brings out the worst in people.
So why do people seem to feel so confident, then, voicing their views on candidates behind the safety net of a computer screen? Why is it that social etiquette doesn’t seem to apply to social media?
Freedom of speech, right? We have the right to say whatever we want, whenever we want. It’s what makes America great. As an opinion columnist, I am all for freedom of speech. However, I definitely think that there are things you should say to yourself, and those are not the things that you should be typing for the world to see.
I pull up MSN and see that a woman in California, who made the bright decision of putting a racial slur regarding our commander and chief and her hope of his assassination on Facebook, is wondering why she is under investigation and unemployed.
Donald Trump is under fire from the tweets he posted election night, and yet he has “no regrets.” People, in case you haven’t gotten the memo, what you put out into cyberspace will inevitably come back to haunt you.
I have yet to make one political post. Not because I don’t care about politics or am indifferent, but because I know that it will not help anything. Those that read my post will either agree or disagree with me, or simply not want to hear it — but I’m not changing anyone’s mind.
I know who I voted for, I know who was elected and I know that there is nothing that I can do about it now. Posting about my newfound desire to move to Canada or my champagne-popping excitement in no way helps the situation — it just makes half of the country hate me and the other half praise me.
As I have seen, based on some comments to my columns and those of my fellow columnists, people act like they’re invincible behind a computer screen. Those that say the most hurtful things never use their real names, because they think that they can say whatever they’d like under the guise of anonymity. Even on Facebook, where your name and your photo are side-by-side, people think that they can say whatever they want, as long as it’s not to people’s faces.
Which is all fine and dandy, but if you’re going to say something on a social media outlet, be willing to say it to every one of your “friends” or followers faces. If I got the woman in California in an interview with Obama, I can almost guarantee that the “N-word” wouldn’t be uttered to his face.
If Donald Trump sat across from the prez at the dinner table in the White House, I’m sure he’d be far more polite. If you’re willing to type it, be willing to say it.
Stupidity and social media don’t mix. Just like you should have a filter between your brain and your mouth, there should be a filter between your brain and your keyboard. If you want to say hurtful things on Facebook, think twice. Realize that not everyone always wants to hear everything you have to say. Leave politics for civil discussions.