Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Can't We All Be Friends?

The election is finally over, but it seems the hard feelings are just beginning. I know this because I am an avid reader on Facebook. I have always believed and I still believe that politics and religion have no place on social media sites. I am sure there are plenty of websites where you can go to voice your political/religious opinions where you will find lots of people who care what you think, but let me be the first to say that I am not one of them so please stay the hell out of my feed! It's not that I don't respect your views because I truly believe that everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe (that is why America is so great). But I think where most people fail  is in accepting this freedom extends to everyone, even if and especially when they are different than yours.

Over the last couple months, I have read ridiculous posts aimed at people who have different views. Smart, kind people have called their friends stupid, ignorant and worse. And to top it all off, the ones who have yelled the loudest are also the ones who get angry when someone attacks them. Listen, if you put it out there that is your choice and you have to expect someone might call you on it. I believe the saying goes, "you can dish it but you can't take it."

I have sat on my computer day after day reading what my Facebook friends have to say and not always agreeing with their opinions. But I have felt a personal pride in refraining from telling them so. I have also refrained from telling anyone my opinion because I learned long ago that politics and religion are tricky subjects and best avoided (unless you are a politician, activist or religious leader and then it is your job to preach). No good can really come from this line of posts. Which leads me to ask this question - what exactly are you hoping to gain from posting your political views on Facebook? Maybe you are hoping that someone will agree with you and validate your beliefs.  To this I respond, if you need this type of validation then how strong are your beliefs? Maybe you are hoping to sway someone to your side to which I respond, you get more flies with honey...We have all been bombarded with political ads on TV, radio, in our mailboxes, email boxes, voicemails and anywhere else they can figure out to reach us. Personally, none of that has swayed my opinion one way or other. So believe me, calling me stupid on Facebook is definitely not going to help your cause at all where I am concerned. I would guess most people agree.

If you truly believe that I could learn something from you than talk to me. Let's have coffee and a friendly debate where we discuss facts and policies and real world examples. And if after our coffee is gone, we still don't agree then lets part as friends.

In full disclosure, I have made one post that is political in nature. This morning I posted:

"You can either help America move forward or you can wish for the worst so you can say, "I told you so." We all wake up as Americas who should want the best for everyone in this country. Please find a way to swallow your pride and help us move forward even if that means working across the isle. You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem."

We are all so lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to have these conversions. But as most things, there is a time and place...I am looking forward to getting my fun and friendly Facebook back, how about you?

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