Social Media Often Divides Us
By Bill Vander Weele
There was a time that it was a lot happier nation. It was a time before social media and everyone racing to put up their latest great thoughts on Facebook or some other site.
The old, popular saying “don’t talk about politics and religion” apparently doesn’t apply anymore. That change in philosophy has definitely hurt small communities, not to mention even families.
There was a time that we would gather and cheer loudly at a game, shoulder to shoulder, in one united group. Or we would gather together and listen to our local favorite band play live. Now, it’s harder when you’ve read that neighbor’s extreme or cruel comments on a post that greatly is opposite to your own feelings about a topic.
There was a time when you would gladly share a casual lunch with an acquaintance without thinking that he or she feels way differently about this subject or that candidate. Back then, whether you wanted ketchup or mustard on your cheeseburger was the biggest debate you expected to have at the table.
There was a time that we knew a person had the right to their own beliefs, we just didn’t realize all of their beliefs but that was fine. It seems that now the norm is not only to state your beliefs, but to do so in an attacking fashion. It’s important to treat others’ opinions with respect. Your objective shouldn’t be to publish the most offensive or extreme post in order to get your point across. Hopefully, you putting up a tasteful comment would result in more of the same quality comments from others.
There was a time when communities seemed more united. I guess through social media we have lost that innocence or naivety forever or at least until we slam our laptops shut.
It’s heartbreaking because Eastern Montana is full with loving people along with communities that work together to achieve shared goals. We are good people, but we sometimes lose ourselves when we’re on our screen and writing a post. It’s time to stop angry comments and return to being caring people. That’s the best route for all of us.