Where once it was for fun, entertainment, and can still be used for positive personal and professional discussion, (more rare now than ever before), social media, and especially Facebook, is more at the core of our national discourse and the running rivers of hate that fuel the daily diatribes than ever before.
On a daily and often minute-by-minute basis, it turns us inside out, from the good-hearted people we once thought we were to the evil and dark-minded cretins we once derided. It has become all the more difficult to believe the adage “there is more good in people than we sometimes see on the surface”, for in comments such as these, the bile rises to the surface and envelops what could be rational and productive conversation.
In the end, it makes suckers of us all.
It begins quite often with a picture, a meme, a snapshot that is altered, taken out of context, created for nothing more than the desire to stoke anger, hate, loathing and, in some cases, even leading to physical attacks.
A fabricated montage of the President and Vice-President of the United States characterized as being uncaring, flippant, and entertained by the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan. A post put up by an individual with a decidedly and apparent bend to the political Right, seeking to mock and foment that hate against those he didn’t vote for.
I would ask to remove politics from this conversation, but that is simply impossible. As a nation here in 2021, we are based on political hate in everything and anything we do and discuss. It has become part of our tragic modern day DNA.
The picture is, as mentioned, nothing more than a firestarter. It is propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, destructive. Follow the breadcrumbs on this thread, and the bile seeps from every textual pore.
More than a few tingers of racism, plenty of continuing disinformation, lots of good old fashioned hate.
There is no changing the mind of these people. No amount of conversation, discourse, screaming or yelling will make any difference. That’s because this is what has taken the place of our once need for rational discussion. It’s easy to hate in a few sentences, much more difficult and intellectually challenging to discuss matters of personal and societal import.
It’s easy to dumb down a conversation and, in the process, dumb down everyone in its path.
Well, perhaps, and hopefully, not everyone.
Instead of being party to this 3-ring clown show, why not instead seek a higher call? How much more difficult would it be to stop hammering away at propaganda and, instead, write, speak, do something in a more positive manner to try and heal what is a truly broken nation, and a citizenry that is lost amid the effluent that is social media?
Would it be so much more difficult to stop with hate and seek that midpoint?
I no longer comment on these threads as becoming involved often only invites derision and threats. The individual who sent me an instant message with my home address in response to something I wrote not long ago is now sitting behind bars. Imagine that for a moment. Someone willing to surrender their freedom, damage their families, crash their own life simply because they disagreed politically with something another person writes.
As I suggest to friends in matters such as these, note those who take such drastic measures. Tuck their identity away, and simply move on. The more we shield ourselves from the infection of hate, the less chance there is we become crippled with its disease. The less air we give these authors of fear, the sooner evolution will claim them, and their ilk will simply one day vanish.
Instead, seek to create a more positive dialogue. Challenge issues with reason and common sense. Debate with the idea not of winning, but with the thought of conversation that will bring everyone to a level of understanding and comprehension without crashing ignorance.
More simply stated, stop being the sucker.
Make a positive difference, and seek to raise the level of conversation to a higher plane, even for a moment.
Pollyana-ish? Perhaps. But damn sure worth a try.