Since the last presidential election, our world seems different. It is difficult to discuss politics with friends and family whose views differ from ours. Viewing social media almost feels like a verbal battle ground. Everyone is quick to judge another’s post or tweet and most feel entitled to weigh in on every issue and make snap judgments along with foul name calling attached. What happened to live and let live? What happened to true freedom of speech? What happened to civility? I think what happened is social media. Like anything else, it is a tool which was originally designed to help people connect and stay connected. But, has it had the opposite effect on us as a society? I believe it has because we let it.
I have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. I do enjoy seeing inspirational memes, recipes and just keeping track of friends and their activities and vacations. However, during the last presidential campaign I started to notice the derogatory comments and fighting among people on social media. I too felt the need to weigh in on President Trump’s tweets. I found my attitude towards some of my Facebook friends changing as they shared their political views, which did not agree with mine. I began to realize this was not what social media was designed for and did I want to be part of the problem and negativity or part of the solution. What we seemed to have lost is our ability to be kind when hiding behind a tweet or a post.
I have set out to change my mindset. America is made up of so many different types of people, but at the end of the day we have more in common than different. All moms want happiness and success for their children. All dads have hopes and dreams for their sons and daughters. Our teens are feeling more anxiety than ever, regardless of race, gender or social class. They just want to be accepted for who they are. So many people are basing their worth on how many likes they receive or how many followers they can get on social media, instead of focusing on personal relationships around them on a daily basis.
What would happen if we all made a conscious decision not to post or share negativity. Instead, consciously post something positive or not post anything at all. What if we got back to basic one on one connecting and actually talking to one another? What if we used social media to spread kindness and compassion?
Remember, negativity cannot grow if no one gives it a voice. I just ask that you think about the written statements you post and the memes you share. Do you really want your name associated with these comments? I am striving for kindness and compassion in my world. The one constant in all our lives is nothing stays the same, change is inevitable. What story do you want to be associated with? I opt for positivity and kindness. Strive to be Kind!