Yesterday I posted on my personal page a simple statement over a share of PostSecret’s photo that simply said, “Hate is not our story.” And above it I wrote, “I will get behind anyone who is interested in reforming our gun laws.” Immediately I received a pretty aggressive and detailed comment from a person who, obviously, didn’t agree with my views. And reading it made my heart sink to my stomach.
Right now we are all disturbed and heart broken over the terrorist attack that happened in Orlando this past weekend. It’s hard not to be. Because this person who killed innocent people on Sunday did it because he didn’t agree with the way they were living their lives. And guess what? These terrorists don’t agree with a lot of what we as Americans believe in, in regards to religious freedom, gender equality, and gay rights. That means that what happened in Orlando could have happened anywhere at anytime.
We are all entitled to our opinions and beliefs. And I believe we are all entitled to love who we want, believe what we want, and get behind what we want. And because of that I responded to the comment on my Facebook page with simply, “I will respect your point of view if you will respect mine.” And just like that, I got an apology from the person through a private message. Not for their point of view, but for being aggressive and attacking my beliefs.
During events like these, which are all too often, people pour their opinions and thoughts on to their social media channels. Perhaps it is a way for them to cope, a way for them to feel like they are helping, or a way from them to take a stand. Hey, I posted my thoughts to support the victims and their families as, honestly, I didn’t know what else to do. Writing has always been cathartic to me, so therefore I used my words.
But not all words are being used in a positive manner. They are being used to attack beliefs and aggressively prove that their point of view is the right one. Which then turn into heated, nasty debates with comment after comment of harsh statements aimed to hurt.
Guess what, kids? You are NEVER going to get someone to change their beliefs by being aggressive and derogatory via a Facebook comment. Actually, no. You’re NEVER going to change a person’s beliefs via a social media channel. It doesn’t work like that.
You’re entitled to your beliefs, yes. But instead of causing useless rage and negativity on a social media chain, go to your government. Contact congress. Because those are the people that will listen. Your friend from high school that you haven’t seen in 10 years who posted that she wants all guns to be banned will only become more aggressive, as well as her other friends who believe the same, when you go off on a rant about your opposite beliefs on gun laws.
It’s all about perspective. Right now there are families in Orlando who don’t know where their loved ones are. There are families mourning the loss of their loved one who just went out for a night of fun on a Saturday evening and was murdered because of it.
So the next time you see a post on your social channels that you don’t agree with, I encourage you to ignore and channel your thoughts and feelings into something bigger. Get off your ass and give blood. Go to your local government and see if there is something you can do.
It’s Facebook, people. FACE. BOOK. Let me say it again, FACEBOOK. Yeah … I hope you’re laughing along with me. A fucking social media channel shouldn’t be ripping us all apart. Keep it in perspective, please. The United States needs more positivity than ever. Let’s work on that, shall we?
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. And I encourage all of us to keep not being afraid to show our true colors and walk proudly with our heads held high.