Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is It Over Yet? Politics is Insulting

Sigh. I can't wait until it's over. I'm really, really tired of the political atmosphere. I think I'm going to take a Facebook hiatus until about a week after the election. People are getting too angry and saying things that are utterly hurtful. I don't have the stomach for it.

Photo courtesy of jppi at Morguefile.

I'll continue to update my blog page on Facebook because I know it would greatly impact my page views here if I didn't update with links there, but, other than that, I'm done for awhile.

What really gets me the most is when certain people accuse the "other side" of being immoral and pile on the insults like they were getting paid for each zinger. 

I've never felt the need to trim my Facebook friends list before. Not four years ago through the previous election and not any time since. But, today, I find myself contemplating just that. I think it's time for a little Facebook decluttering. I don't oppose people having different political views. I oppose people being cruel to other human beings.

Even Jesus can't look at Facebook before the election. Photo courtesy of taliesin at Morguefile.
If you're still in the thick of the political discussion on Facebook or elsewhere here are a few friendly tips you may want to keep in mind:
  • If you're going to quote the bible in your political rant, remember Jesus didn't call people morons. 
  • Most people realize writing in all caps is the Internet equivalent of shouting, so they don't do it anymore. Insults are the same thing. They're a kind of shouting desperate people do when they have no logical argument to put forth.
  • If it raises your hackles to think of someone else talking to your kids in the same way you are about to talk to a fellow human being, then don't do it. If it helps, picture your kids on the receiving end of the rant you want to write.
  •  Understand that when you resort to insults, you've lost the debate. It may make you feel powerful, but, in truth, it's the weakest form of argument.
  • Try to remember there are fellow human beings on the other side of those wi-fi signals.   
  • If your Facebook page erupts in a debate based on something you posted, take exception to your friends calling your other friends things like "worthless" or "idiotic". Friends don't turn a blind eye to people insulting their friends, no matter what their politics. 
  • Don't be surprised when you lose Facebook friends if you break any of the above rules.
“My father always used to say, "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument." Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.” ~ Desmond Tutu

7 comments:

  1. You gotta make it fun. Whenever one of my far-righties posts something political at the same time as one of my far-lefties (so that their posts are next to each other in my FB roll), I drink!

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    1. I knew you'd have good advice for me, Marianne! I'm pouring a drink right now!

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  2. Well said, Barbara.

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  3. Yes, Christians this election are all over the political spectrum. When it is all over, those of us who love our Scipture know that we need to accept whoever wins.

    There are so many issues in this election that I find it fascinating. A big concern is our national debt and letting our children have to bear that expense. Another concern is the safety of our country and other regions of the world.

    How great that we do live in a country that allows political debate! But Internet bullying has no place whatsoever. We teach our children to not bully others at school and then they see it on Facebook!

    Hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Adults definitely send mixed messages about bullying. No wonder kids are so confused!

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  4. There is absolutely no point in paying attention to any phony comment on the web- it is like killing the germs in your home one by one. Many people feel somehow powerful because no one will hold them accountable for what they write on the Net. Which is pathetic. The only way to keep doing what you do is to remain positive and to concentrate on the positive and constructive comments- this is what I usually do.

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Thanks!