There is a lot of shit on my news feed. And at times, there really is too much to sift through — even with a paddle. Scrolling used to be fun with meows on meows on meows and adorable babies covered in peanut butter. Now all anybody seems to want to talk about is politics and why they’re pissed off.
Dial it back a minute.
Politics has been a hushed subject for decades. I grew up being told it was “impolite” to discuss politics, pretty much anywhere. Not at the dinner table and certainly not at a cocktail party. Now, from what seems like total left-field, everyone is buzzing with political feels. As it turns out, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, and a variety of ice cream lovers have vast beliefs and a lot to say.
Society is is taking full advantage of the phrase, “it is okay to talk about yourself and your feelings.” While hate is transferred from the brain to the keyboard, so too is self-love and the proclamation of human rights. These confessions are reaching beyond our daily lives and stepping into the political realm. Political talk isn’t restricted to the angry uncle anymore, it’s defining the individual’s daily experience. Naturally, these things become polarized.
The birth of social media brought about an incredible platform for the unheard. Look, not everyone is a writing major. Not everyone wants to engage in a platform as wide as a public magazine or newspaper.
There is a bubble of comfort within the Facebook community.
The girl you passed two years ago in the math building may check out your profile from time to time and I bet it makes you blush at the mere thought. There is a familiarity within social media that encourages individuals to share. Isn’t that what we were going for, anyway?
What we often forget when shaking our heads at Facebook and other sources of unreliable news, is that posting is a form of engagement. Just because a status update doesn’t include a “work cited” page doesn’t mean it should be ignored or degraded. In fact, you could learn a lot from this raw public opinion.
There is a wide feeling of social distress in our current political atmosphere. We are witnessing history as the previous eight years are being turned inside out and folded with wrinkles. And we are f*cking angry.
Our government is the fine print we have somehow evaded but signed the document anyway. It’s the extra three bucks on the grocery bill when mom doesn’t notice the white-powdered donuts. But when she notices and returns them to the comfort of their shelf, we throw a tantrum. When people suddenly feel threatened, they speak out.
But just as the pro-choice, pro-queer rights, pro-universal health care, pro-feminist’s hearts are breaking, some millions of people are celebrating what they have long anticipated. We can’t belittle millions of Americans to being misogynistic, homophobic, or racist simply because they cast a vote based off how they believed it would affect their lives for the better.
We can choose to disagree with them. We can judge them. We can form our own opinions about them. We can try to educate them and bring awareness to the issues we hold close to ourselves. But, even when that doesn’t work, we have to be open-minded enough to realize that people — even within the queer community — place weight on different issues, and it usually stems from the issues that plague their daily lives.
Your opinion and your voice can only be informed by expanding what you believe to be true. Be steadfast in your beliefs, but don’t be surprised when others do the same. Rather than denying, deleting, or retreating in the face of what you deem injustice, try understanding. Rather than ignoring, try conversing. Try not to turn the other cheek.
Your views are only strengthened by opposing ones. Allow them to challenge you.
There is a positivity in Facebook posting. It’s voicing your thoughts and hearing others who you might not otherwise grab coffee with.