I’m a social media purist.
September 11th, 2005, I got off the waiting list for Facebook and officially joined the social media world.
I used it for the next five years to find out who was single and who was in a relationship.
In the early fall of 2009, I joined Twitter.
I used it to complain about work.
Two hundred and thirty-four weeks ago, I joined Instagram.
I used it to post pictures of my life, trying to find the best possible filter and lighting to make my plate of food look good.
I have actively tried to use these social media platforms for what they were originally intended. Narcissistic mediums that allow me to humble-brag about my life, putting it in the best 140-character filter possible.
At its center, my social media thesis statement is to find humor in the ordinary.
What I have intentionally chosen to NOT do, is get involved in political posts, which seems to be about 85% of what my news feed is made up of these days.
Trump Hugs Rubio at Rally… AND YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
Hillary’s Emails For Sale on Craigslist… AND THE PRICE IS UNBELIEVABLE
Out of the Mouth of Babes… Toddler Disses Trump AND YOU’LL BE BLOWN AWAY AT HIS RESPONSE
I have friends who post excellent articles about the election and current events. My mother is one of them. I have very rarely (as in three times in as many years) posted articles about moral issues— the Planned Parenthood scandal and the refugee crisis— but I carefully read each article and made sure that I agreed with it in its entirety, and confirm that it used correct sources… in short, that it wasn’t yellow journalism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism)
What I have seen, when my friends post hot topics, are inevitable Facebook comment debates. We live in a world where our thumbs are quicker and sharper than our tongues. It is much easier to type out a scathing response while looking at someone’s profile picture, than formulating a response in real time in a face to face conversation. What we don’t see (or refuse to acknowledge) is that behind every comment is a person with a life story… experiences that have molded their worldview. That person who attacked you for posting a story about Trump’s “Wall”? They may have family members in Mexico who are stuck in a city torn apart by drug wars. That person who attacked you for posting the article about the desecration of the White House when Obama lit up with rainbow colors? Their father might be gay.
So, here is my social media creed: If I post something political over the next year, and you disagree with it, please comment and let me know. I will send you a private message with my cell phone number (if you don’t already have it), and we will discuss it either face to face, or over the phone. Because if I am going to post something, I should be ready to back it up in real-time— not between running errands or during nap time when I have a chance to find yet another article to back up my point.
I also will want to understand your side of the argument– and the circumstances in your life that lead you to believe what you believe. And I will share the same with you.
Because I like to keep my friends on social media exactly that- my friends.