Sunday, September 9, 2012
On Political Discourse in Social Media
Let's talk about Facebook and social media in general for a moment. New media, even - we can pull this out to the blogosphere, too.
I use my Facebook page not only as a way to keep up with old friends and stay in touch, but also to promote my blog. Granted, blogging has been slowed by real life these past few weeks but that's another story. But that's part of the objective of social media as I see it. Sharing of ideas and spreading information. Sharing news, articles, and videos you find interesting.
Yet there is a growing trend of intolerance from the left when your opinion doesn't jive with theirs. That's not really new either, but the chatter seems to be more aggressive. We've all seen the little e-cards photo that went around Facebook recently that said something like, "Wow! Your political posting on Facebook has really changed my mind about who to vote for, said no person ever,"
Well, that was kind of funny really and not particularly mean-spirited. It's the passive-aggressive snark and the even more outright hostile attacks that I find disheartening and that have my blood pressure up today.
A few weeks ago someone in my timeline posted a comment on their own wall (their right, of course!) that derided people for posting political opinion in Facebook. "There should be a separate place for them to do that!" this person said. Why?
Why shouldn't I be able to post political opinion and share articles if I want to? Because it offends YOU?
If I'm offended or don't care to read a person's feed the simple response is to hide their posts or even "unfriend" them if it's that bad. So why the passive-aggressive snark?
A friend of mine told me of a note she got from one of her Facebook friends which explained that she was unfriending her because of her political posting on Facebook. That's fine, but why even announce that? Why not take the high road and take whatever action you feel necessary without provoking a situation of resentment and/or hurt feelings?
Why all the attacks? Why does the left feel the need to attack and diminish the right? I'm sure it goes both ways but I've seen it more from the left lately.
We should be able to agree to disagree and stop the snark and hostility. I get angry about the state of things. I hate what Obama is doing to this country and I'm quite vociferous and opinionated about it but I won't attack you personally for your differing views. I'll attack on policy and argument, but not personally.
In social media, I think it's perfectly fair to post and share your opinions. In this country you are still, for the time being, allowed the right of free speech.