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It's Been a Rough Couple of Weeks

Personally, I’m looking forward to moving forward.

But in order to do that, there’s a few things I need to get off my chest.

Things that have been taking up way too much space in my head and heart.

I’ve spent more than a few nights tossing and turning these past few weeks. Even my tried and true method of going through all the things I am grateful for failed to send me back into dreamland.

I believe many of you are feeling the same.

Too much hate in the world right now.

People can be so cruel.

Here’s what pushed me over the edge last week…

A friend shared a meme on Facebook about teaching.

In a nutshell, it said the best thing a parent could do for a teacher is to send a respectful student to school.

To this, she received the following comment:

What do you expect if the teacher is telling the kids that they are descended from apes and have no eternal value? If you don’t respect the children, they won’t respect you. All people have been created by God almighty and have extreme value. Please don’t throw that away!

She, being a much nicer person (and a much better Christian) than myself, calmly responded to him.

His response?

Sorry […] I didn’t realize it was you.

REALLY?!

This is what’s causing me to lose sleep.

We all have opinions. I get it.

We don’t always agree. I get that too.

But really?

Sorry…I didn’t realize it was you?

Like that comment would be okay if you didn’t know the person?

I really hope it wouldn’t.

I just don’t get it.

I think we have lost touch with how much the words we write or the things we share on social media impact others.

And this goes not only for the people who follow us that we don’t know, but for the people we do know and care about.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have conversations, but I am suggesting that social media may not be the best place to have those conversations.

That’s my wishy-washy was of saying this needs to stop.

So many hard feelings are created (and many without us knowing we are doing it), impacting our relationships with others.

A friend of mine reposted the following FB memory from three years ago, feeling it (sadly) still applied today. She gave me her permission to share it with you.

I do not care what your political affiliation is. I do not care what religion you practice, I do not care what race you are. I care about respect. I am saddened that although I am faced daily with your thoughts and words on politics and all the anger that is expressed in it, you, many friends, do not care that you offend me on a daily basis. I will not voice it. Frankly, I have been afraid to voice it for fear of your response. I am hurt often by things that are said that go against my core values, but I do not share that. I have heartfelt opinions myself, but I do not share them because they are just that-opinions of mine. I do not want to hurt others by pushing my opinions. I know they are not shared by many. All I can do is offer respect to any one I come in contact with.

An Oh-So-Wise Friend of Mine

I keep trying to figure out how social media has gone from creating connections to fueling feelings of anger and hurt.

Perhaps part of the problem is that it’s too easy to hit the SHARE button. It’s too easy to hit the LIKE button (which, btw, allows your friends to see what you’ve liked).

Unfortunately, for many, ‘information’ is shared or liked without knowing how truthful what we are sharing actually is.

Case in point?

I went to my FB page and found the most recent political post shared with me (and not just me…everybody…I don’t want you to think I am special).

When I fact checked it on mediabiasfactcheck.com, this is what I found about the source:

Shouldn’t have been shared, yet it was.

We need to be more responsible when it comes to social media. We need to fact check. We need to verify.

This is what divides us. This is what fuels hatred.

And I don’t want to be a part of it.

As my ‘Oh-So-Wise’ friend wrote, we need to be respectful of one another, no matter what our differences.

Anybody with me?

5 thoughts on “It's Been a Rough Couple of Weeks

  1. Yes, social media seems to be the caustic chemical that has dissolved the glue of our society. There are so many (just not hurtful) horribly mean things being posted, and when people point out the rudeness people reply, “It is my 1st Amendment right … Freedom of Speech.” True. Our constitution guarantees you won’t be persecuted for what you say (unless it is a threat), but does that make it right? Is it okay to speak without a filter? Way before the invention of social media, we’ve always had the freedom of speech … but we also had something called a brain, and we used that brain as a filter before we spoke. Now that filter seems to be gone. (Does that mean our brains are gone? Or just that we aren’t using our brains before we speak?) I’ve started to respond to the blogs beneath news stories just to point out such rudeness, and boy, do I get as many thumbs down and thumbs up. If I defend a Republican, I’m called a right-wing zealot. If I defend a Democrat, I’m called left-wing liberal wacko. Why is it always about politics? We’ve always had two parties (or two main parties) but have never been so divided. Why are we allowing the political parties to divide us now? My husband wonders why I waste my time (as he puts it) responding to these comments. No, it’s not good for my blood pressure, but I feel like I need to. As a teacher (who used to have to lesson plan for bullying), I feel like I CAN’T expect 12-year-olds to do something that I, as an adult, can’t (or won’t) do. We teach kids that there are 3 roles involved in bullying … the bully (the aggressor), the bullied (the victim), and the bystander (those surrounding the other two). We tell kids that they should always speak up because if bystanders are silent it looks like they agree. Silence = consent. If you don’t agree, then don’t stand silently. Don’t give the connotation that you agree. Use your voice. Be the voice of reason. (And realize you are serving as a role model for those around you. If you wouldn’t allow your child to go to school and say it, or if your child would go to school and say it and get in trouble, then you shouldn’t say it either.) Our community has always had members of multiple political parties. Our community has always had members of multiple religions. Our community has always had members of multiple ethnicities. Yet, we’ve lived as members of the same community. We’ve lived as neighbors who reach out and take care of each other. We’ve managed to minimize hate. We’ve managed to keep hurtful words to ourselves.

    Ok, can someone please bring me a ladder so I can safely get off my soapbox?

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Chris! So much to think about. I don’t know what the answer is, but I am glad there are so many that share our beliefs. It comes down to respect. And it’s not always what you say, it’s where and how you say it!

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  2. Like I used to say to my trainees, don’t put anything in email or IM you would be ashamed to say face to face. I’ve kind of drifted away from FB for exactly what you write about! But I love the family pics and good news shared and sad news divided (halved). Oh, and I love puppy & bunny pics!!! Love you! 💕

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    1. I too appreciate real posts…it’s how I feel in touch with those who I no longer get to see as often. A great way of keeping in touch! I appreciate those who keep their FB sharing to personal things. And yes…puppy pictures are always greatly appreciated! Love you, too!

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  3. Yes, people can be cruel & will use any means to make sure their anger , hatred , bitterness & negativity gets to you , & that’s not even enough , they will try to reach as much people they can so directly or through social media . Very reason , I took out my Facebook & messenger more than a year ago . To much over share of everything that just breaks people’s hearts . It’s no longer about inspiration & connectivity but as a means to either show off , do gossip , or channel anger . Thanks for sharing your story .

    Like

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