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Politics is now a dirty word.
Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are now battlegrounds for an endless debate on various forms of politics.
I understand that this is a free country. I understand that people have a right to express their opinions.
Sometimes, though, certain opinions should not be expressed out loud or on other individuals' social media platforms.
I remember, distinctly, when an opinion was expressed, politely, to a political news post that was shared on Facebook.
What happened next was appalling, to say the least.
People were threatening, belittling, and showering that one comment with as much negativity as they possibly could. People that should have known better. These were people who were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, teachers, builders, etc.
Chances are incredibly high that there is no way in hell these people would ever have been so disrespectful to that one commenter’s face.
Rule of thumb for social media: If you are not brave enough to say your thoughts to an actual, physical person’s face, then do not write those thoughts on a comment towards that person on social media—where everyone, including that person, can see it.
If I post something political that does not mean I want it verbally torn down and shredded to pieces with someone else’s opinion. Now, if they were to express said opinion on their OWN PAGE, that is different. That is far more respectful and kind than going into someone’s virtual home and—literally—trashing it to the point where, instead of a person’s mind being changed, feelings are hurt.
Feelings matter; other people, not just our own individual selves, matter. Therefore, how we express our opinions, which we have a right to have and express, matters. Deeply.
I have a rule for my own page on social media. If I see ANY inappropriate or hateful comments on my actual page, I delete those comments. If I see those comments a SECOND time, the poster of those comments automatically gets blocked.
I remember getting threatened by someone I do NOT KNOW that I needed to be raped. That person was blocked in a heartbeat.
There is a reason why I have a no tolerance policy. After a while of dealing with these comments, it is so easy for a person’s self-esteem and feelings of self-worth to plummet to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean.
I refuse to allow for a negative, hurtful, and unnecessarily derogative comment to put and keep me down.
I have self-worth. The lady walking behind me on my way to work has self-worth. The person reading this has self-worth. Every single solitary person on this planet has self-worth.
Using social media as a way to tear down that self-worth is despicable and deplorable.
There is no good reason, or cause, to force an opinion on another person for the sole sake of feeling offended because that one opinion is different than your own.
Think about it this way: If you expressed yourself to someone, how would you feel if they immediately told you to “shut up” and then insulted you as they explained why your opinion is wrong and theirs is right?
I am guessing the answer is “not good.” Correct? I know how I would feel. Hurt. So hurt, in fact, that I would be petrified to not only have an opinion, but to even express that opinion, ever.
Expressing our opinions in appropriate ways is key. Remember when you type, no one can hear the inflection of your voice or see the expression on your face.
Rule of thumb for social media: Treat others how you would want to be treated, especially if you were face to face.