This social media thing– while great for work promotion and for keeping track of friends and family, posting pictures, happy sayings– can be totally out of control on so many other levels. Most people realize this by now.
The most obvious is politics. It’s hard for me to understand why people want to discuss politics on this thing at all unless it’s something everyone would get behind. Worse, people drop this stuff into your morning inbox (if you are a friend), then tell you not to comment. I’ve dropped my obnoxious opinion into your inbox over your coffee, then forbidden you to comment. Not that I normally would anyway, but the one thing that gets my motor running is this censorship thing–the world should be safe for someone to annoy people but they do it back, it’s abuse or hate speech.
Blogging has much the same perils. It can be so great, but it’s not a place to trash friends and family, especially if they follow you. I follow this retirement blogger who has great tips but then at times just trashes her friends, children and neighbors. And I mean TRASHES them. Assuming all kinds of things about their finances or motivations. Posts just cruel things. I had to tactfully tell her she was insulting or losing friends over pretty silly things and about things she might not even know anything about–judgments about their finances. She assumes people lie about how well they are doing in retirement, calls people snobs or ungrateful dredges of humanity and things. Particular folks or family! (She is not a follower of mine, btw).
One of her friends who got trashed sent me a note personally thanking me for saying something. Poor woman needed a hot bath and a good cup of tea. I felt brutalized for her.
Writing crap like that doesn’t take courage. People aren’t communicating properly. Politics and religion are things to discuss in person if at all where you can see people’s faces, hear tones. Though if you DO post it, you should be prepared for a dialogue and you should do it out of a hope of persuasion, not to unload on others. Discussion is important this day and age. But real discussion, not venting at the other half of the population or posting political talking points they hear daily. And certainly not publicly whipping your friends and family. I’d like to say this happens mostly in junior high and high school but too many adults are just as guilty.
Some people treat this as if it’s a diary and not coming into the inboxes of a couple hundred “friends.”
Blogging is not quite as disastrous as facebook, which I would discontinue in a heart beat if I didn’t need it for my work. Well, I love seeing my grandson’s little face on there and pictures of my friends, and reading uplifting quotes. But people really need to get a grip here.
Bloggers generally expect to be challenged if they post controversial posts. They want comments and followers. But I maintain people need to use some tact and restraint here.
I admit to blogging about the trials I have as care giver of my son and father, but even while I try to help others who are going through it and am honest about how hard it is, also to help, I don’t hang anyone out to dry, talk about the good things, too, and am aware I participate in the dynamic as well. And even so, I’m careful about what I say even though I know they are not likely reading it. I hold back a LOT. People should try to remember the golden rule.
It’s just not necessary to do some of this at all. If you are honestly doing it to have a dialogue, see what others think and why, see if you can defend your own opinions (are they preconceived), great. Never post anything to lecture people about all you know and they don’t. For heaven’s sake. But do it with respect and never get personal on these things like that. The only politics I post is a reminder that we don’t want precedents that could affect all of us down the road, all parties.
I see it’s snowing and now I have to salt and shovel before I can get my dad to the doctor tomorrow… Got to get some salt down now.
Happy Thursday, guys!