Social Media: The Great Uniter and Divider

It goes without saying that social media has become a place for us all to voice our opinions in the hopes that if we “shout” loud and long enough, we will be heard.

This is not, of course, a new phenomenon… you know, the idea of expressing ourselves.  It’s been going on since the beginning of time and is definitely the reason why countries like the United States made sure to include freedom of speech in our Constitution without having to fear some despot would chop off our heads. I know, terrible image so here is a rainbow with a unicorn to counteract it…Rainbow and Unicorn

Anyway, in theory, the idea of freedom of speech is a fantastic concept. We can say whatever we want…whenever we want, right?

In reality, though, it doesn’t play out so great especially these days on social media. And if the past week of monumental U.S. Supreme Court decisions and debates in state capitals throughout the South hasn’t proven that I don’t know what will.

I am not here to argue for or against any of the hot issues du jour, but I am here to plead for common decency as I became yet one more victim to another human being’s very mean and cruel spirit via social media. I am talking a message of such hate that I couldn’t sleep after reading it. It was only 5 words long but I am telling you they were the ugliest 5 words I have ever had directed at me personally. And while I know I have to ultimately feel sorry for anyone that feels it is necessary to use Twitter, Facebook or any of the thousands of online outlets to make such horrible statements, it still hurts me to my core.

If you don’t know me personally, don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook and have never read any of my blogs until now, then I will tell you that I am a rather tongue-in-cheek kind of gal. I simply try, as my tagline claims, to keep things real one day at a time.

I suppose my definition of “real” is mine and mine alone, but I am overall a good person who is just trying to get through each day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I know, very corny but true and it is the reason I embraced social media years ago. Sure, I wanted to spread the word a little faster and easier about the baked goods business I had at the time, but I am a people person and to me that is what social media is about…the people, especially the ones we might otherwise never meet.

So, call me crazy but…when I saw what was a very disturbing message from someone on my Call Me Crazy Maybe But fan page after the #SCOTUS gay marriage decision, I seriously questioned closing all of my social media accounts. I know, I shouldn’t ever give one person that kind of power, but I definitely didn’t feel like smiling or singing the rest of the day.

The following morning while I was still feeling my social media sting, I was compelled to do something with the overwhelming disappointment I had regarding such a hateful message. I am smart enough to know I will never change anyone’s opinions on such matters, but I was still curious about the person behind the message.

I checked out the woman’s Facebook page (yes, I was kind of shocked that it was a woman) and it wasn’t filled with what I expected…more hate and disdain. It was actually a page filled with messages that if I didn’t know better was from a person with great compassion and no tolerance for ignorance especially this one…Ignorance is the tragedy

Side note: The source for the photo above was the Single Parents of Children With Autism Facebook Page but they had nothing to do with the woman that posted it.

I guess the problem is the woman who sent the message to me wants all of us to walk a day in her shoes as a parent with an autistic child but doesn’t appear to be willing to do the same for others, most obviously anyone who is part of the LGBT community.

Ignorance is the true tragedy of our society ladies and gentlemen and I wish more than anything I could sprinkle some magic pixie dust and make it disappear into thin air. And, yes, that does make me a dreamer as well as a realist.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about two women that I met through a local business organization who were finally able to get married in Florida after the U.S. District Court officially made it legal in our state (Brenner v. Scott). As I mentioned in the blog, I was so honored to have been there to witness their union.  And I didn’t receive a single negative comment on that blog nor on any of the social media pages that it was posted.

I do remember, though, someone asking me whether I was afraid to “put it out there” that I was in support of gay marriage and how it might affect the business I now work for.

My response?

If I only did business with people that shared every…single…one…of…my…beliefs I honestly would have no one to do business with. Isn’t that what we were supposed to learn in kindergarten, play nicely in the sandbox?

I know major companies were very quick to show their support of the historic gay marriage decision…big, well established companies with deep roots in Americana like Sears

 

CokeKFC

Levis

I have to wonder if the haters that are gonna hate will be giving up on Garanimals and Original Recipe Buckets anytime soon.

So here’s the deal people…just be nice and stop trying to convince everyone you’re right and they are wrong. I honestly don’t think any one person or group has the answers. Agree to disagree and move on. I’m fine with those that feel it is necessary to unfriend and unfollow me as a result of anything I may post but for the love of whatever you believe in, don’t be nasty about it.

Maybe being part of a religious minority (i.e. Jewish) all of my life has made me more sensitive to the discrimination and hate that seems so pervasive in our society and world at large. Or maybe I am simply just a very sensitive soul who thinks that being 100% tolerant of all people regardless of race, religion, creed, color or, dare I say, sexual preference, is an all or nothing thing. Either you are or you aren’t…period, end of story.

Bottom line, social media is awesome but let’s all use it responsibly and then, maybe just maybe, as John Lennon said, we can in fact…

“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

StrawberryFieldsJuly2007

That’s all for now…#BlackerOut!

 

28 Comments

Filed under Call Me Crazy, Marriage, Technology and Social Media

28 responses to “Social Media: The Great Uniter and Divider

  1. Nicely put, Beth! Thank you for being you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know how to be any other way Lisa 🙂 I am so sad to see the hatred over this and so many other issues so whatever I can do to make a difference, no matter how small, I will do.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on Plus Size to Downsized and commented:
    THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! Everyone should think like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this! Beautiful and perfectly said!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Social Media is so awful and so wonderful at the same time. I can’t imagine life without it though. I personally try to avoid sharing my beliefs and politics if I can though. There is always drama if you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try and avoid discussing politics and religion as well Crystal…I guess I just see certain things as basic human rights and shouldn’t be a political or religious debate. I know, I’m kind of crazy that way 🙂

      Like

  5. I was very happy to see my personal FB feed had only a few negative comments after this historic ruling but I was prepared to use this as a way to weed out those ‘friends’ that were unable to, if not rejoice with me, then at least respect the decision made by the highest court of the land. The business dilemma is a little trickier but at the end of the day shouldn’t we all stay true to ourselves? But for now, Im so excited at the prospect of being the mother of a bride who will be able to marry her true love in the same way that her sisters have always had the right to do. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautifully written and I am so glad you did write this. This is who you are and they say, people do business with people they trust. Those who know, like, read & appreciate you will continue to follow and support. You seem to be a champion of your own beliefs & why not. This woman had no business writing anything on your page. Delete/block/ban/report her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I banned her Roz but there was no sense in reporting her since it was a private message and Facebook probably wouldn’t care since the only person who saw it was me. Thanks, as always, for your support and very kind words.

      Like

  7. The people who feel the way that woman does tend to completely block out any differing ideas and yet they feel free to attack anyone who differs from them. I was recently with a bunch of them and it makes me crazy but there’s no reasoning with them. I’m sorry that you were hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It hurts that there is hate in the world at large Beth. I just don’t get it but to paraphrase John Lennon, I may be a dreamer but hopefully one day the world will in fact be as one 🙂

      Like

  8. I agree with your sentiments and as you know, you can’t let one or two mean-spirited people ruin your experience. Hot button issues are always going to get people riled up and our country is in the middle of that big time right now. But keep doing you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lisa…I am not letting one person stop me. If that was the case I probably would have crawled in a hole a long time ago. It really just came as such a shock because of the hate expressed in so few words.

      Like

  9. So sorry to hear you felt like giving up on social media for a moment there but glad you didn’t. There’s none so blind as those who will not see. When you are a tolerant soul yourself and see the best in everyone, it is always a shock to be set upon by someone who is not so spiritually aware. Love your writing style.

    Like

    • I guess the thing that will always amaze me Gilly is that most of the people who aren’t as tolerant as you and I think they are spiritually aware. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I appreciate the compliment about my writing 🙂

      Like

  10. Excellent post, as always… I am always a bit shocked by they way some people behave when they have a computer to hide behind. Just be nice people, it’s not hard.

    Like

  11. Mike Kawula CEO of Social Quant

    Social media can be dangerous, and there is always one if not more who jump down your throat if your belief or opinion doesn’t match theirs! It’s crazy. But keep your head up and keep going!

    Like

  12. carundle

    I’m so sorry you experienced this, Beth. I’ve had my share of haters, too. But as you learned, giving in to them is not the solution. No, not everyone will love me/you, but what they say reflects more on them than us. Easy to say, I know. Keep your head up high!

    Like

  13. Claps hands.. well done Blacker! I may not agree, or want certain things for my life, but that doesn’t mean that I have the right to make that choice for others. Well said!

    Like

  14. carolinedavis502

    Very well said. I purposely avoided that whole issue on on social media for the very reasons you state and what happened to you. i am in South Carolina where the Confederate flag issue is so hot right now and am appalled at what some of the people (My “friends” ) are saying about it! I so agree with the statement you made about tolerance, ” Either you are or you aren’t…period, end of story”

    Like

    • It is too bad that we can’t have conversations about these issues without things getting ugly but I guess it just is what it is. As whackadoodle of a state as Florida, I cannot imagine being in South Carolina, especially right now. Way too much bigotry for me to handle.

      Like

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