Have we really evolved? I ask you this, as now a days I see a lot of hatred on social networking sites.
Whether it is to support a political party or to run down a particular event that you’re following, people have become defensive.
When I go through my newsfeed and I see a post which is an obvious sexist post or an offensive one, I restrict myself and try to ignore it; however most sites are programmed such that even if one of your friends comments or likes it will appear on your newsfeed. So even though I have tried to filter my thoughts and just ignore the idiocy, the social media just doesn’t let me go. I have the urge to comment and do so and then tell the person what I think of him or his comment in as diplomatic a way as possible. But what do I get in return? Accusations and comments written in absolute anger.
I have two choices then: either I state my point again in a different way or I just let bygones be bygones. However, choosing the former over the latter just puts you out there to be judged and ridiculed by the person and his friend circle, sometimes even causing more hatred to spread. What I have learnt is if I choose to ignore the outburst, then I am helping myself more than winning an argument.So I wish them well and exit since they don’t want to change their one sided view.
Facebook recently completed 10 years and in these 10 years we have evolved from just a simple like to arguing and cyber bulling. At the beginning, it was just a snoopy tool to keep a check on your friends and to maintain contact with your friends at work i.e. your current and previous place of employment. I was already out of college and never got to experience Facebook in college. But the way the outbursts are structured, I think it must really suck to be a teenager now. I mean selfies being taken everywhere, check-ins being updated even for a small meal or snack is what Facebook is about. Romance is more about relationship status and less about relationships. Gay people, the obese and just generally all teenagers, I am sure, have to keep appearances much more now because once anything is written on the internet remains on the internet.
Now in all this, an expressive person such as myself can be conferred the title of being blunt and crude i.e. speaking my mind without a thought to the others feelings. The dictionary has some other definitions but you get the gist. I am somehow not very proud of this, because I was always told that in case you can’t say anything good then you shouldn’t say anything at all. Something my mom did till her death bed. She never liked some people in her life – always interfering, always judging and she never retaliated and here her own daughter was being labeled a blunt person. I have let her down.
So even though Facebook is a friendly site to hang out with your friends, it’s also a medium where people should have a right to an opinion. I have disagreed with many friends but am always civil. Does that make me blunt? I believe that there are two sides to every coin. Does it make me a feminist when I speak out about a particular sexist status I didn’t like? I have seen my mother working so I have more respect for working women than for housewives; even though I am currently a homemaker, should I be labeled a feminist. I respect now both roles much more now. Maybe, just maybe, if people expressed themselves more openly most of the time then you wouldn’t have to have this kind of outburst online.
There was one time where I updated a status which hurt another friend’s religious sentiments. I apologized for it, even though I thought that the status was in good humor and not meant to disrespect any religion. I admitted my ignorance and apologized- so does that make me a saint now? Who gets to judge a person based on 160 words? I certainly don’t. When I see a photo of friends swinging with drinks in their hand, am I branding them as alcoholics, irresponsible parents? Or should I be happy that these hardworking parents have got some time off.
My point is postings and comments on Facebook or any other social media is not how you judge a person. You don’t get to walk in my shoes based on what I choose to let you know. Have deeper conversations with friends, use the media to keep in touch, share a laugh, and don’t be so uptight. I may be gone tomorrow and all I have left with you are my words so please don’t crucify me before my judgment day.