We can do better

When social media first came to my attention years ago, I made a decision that I would avoid political and controversial posts if at all possible. Of course, I wasn’t always successful early on, garnering my fair share of harsh responses and a few posts that I deleted after I went back and re-read some of my words which made me look like “one of those guys.” Life has been a lot easier using social media for nothing more than posting cute pictures and keeping up with what all of my virtual friends around the world are doing.

Of course, it becomes harder and harder to peruse many of these sites because, more often than not, they are filled with nothing more than caustic opinions about politics and social issues. Yes, American politics is a hot mess and the media is nothing more than a feeding frenzy waiting to unearth the next savory morsel of ill repute that will hopefully doom another candidate or celebrity or turn an issue into a one-sided free for all. The funny thing about all of this is that I’ve yet to see a social media post that successfully sways the masses into agreeing with their point of view. If anything, all they do is cause further division and rupture budding virtual friendships. So not worth it.

The point is: We can do better. It’s not that I don’t care about your views. I truly do care and would be more than happy to discuss them over coffee and doughnut. I realize that you have every right in the world to post whatever you wish on social media and I will defend that right - while at the same time “unfollowing you” because I just can’t handle all of the negativity and one-sided vitriol that consumes my news feed.

Instead, let’s post more pictures of cute puppies and even cuter kids, Bible verses that inspire us to seek after Who really matters, cool videos of amazing guitar solos or soldiers being reunited with their families, requests for good restaurants and better recipes, and of course life events such as births and marriages that need to be celebrated.

Do we truly need social media? I don’t know, and I certainly don’t use it like I used to. But in light of the fact that we no longer send letters or make phone calls like we did back in the “good old days,” it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea as long as it is not abused. Still want to shout about your opinions and political views? Then run for office and be the change you so desperately want to see.

I guarantee that people would be able to accomplish so much more in this world if they stepped away from their keyboards and put their energy into actually trying to solve these problems that make them so angry in the first place. And, I bet that they would be so busy seeking to accomplish these changes that they wouldn’t have enough time to post about it. That would be awesome because it would free my feed up so that I could see more of those cute kitten videos.

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