Ahhh the trials and tribs of social media. It’s full of heartwarming family photos, videos of puppies and kittens, and stories that make us laugh and cry. It is also full of ridiculous memes, political opinions we don’t agree with, and rants on subjects that leave us shaking our heads…. but still, we come back for more. There are plenty of things on social media that bug me. Divisive political posts. Animal cruelty photos. Non-stop food photos. But what bugs me most? People telling others to stop posting these things. Minus the exception of a parent or caring adult discouraging kids or young adults not to post hateful, hurtful content, compromising photos, or anything would probably their future job prospects, we just have to accept that people can post whatever they want. How we react is up to us.
I know its hard. learned a lot about some of the people in my life over the last couple of years in this tumultuous political climate due to social media posts. I saw things from people that surprised me because I never knew they had some of the views they did. My opinion of some people changed for the better or worse due to those posts, and perhaps, from the opinions I expressed, some changed their opinion of me.
So be it.
Because while I may have felt surprised and disappointed more than once, I also learned a great deal, and in the end, I’m glad I know more about some of these people and their views that I did before. Amid the discomfort, I began to challenge myself to listen and learn another view, even if it was only to determine that the divide was not so great. I always hear that the odds of changing anyone’s mind on social media are slim, but I admit, I’ve seen a few things that at least get me to consider another few. When I was younger, I was more conservative than now, which to me, seems the opposite of what should happen. But I have found that many of the views I held in the past may have been skewed by a lifetime of lack of exposure–dare I say-ignorance-to so many things. And social media, and the internet in general, (good and bad) has allowed me to experience a wealth of information that I did not have access to before.
My grown kids are constantly expanding my viewpoint. Sometimes, in between her happy little posts about her kids or her latest outdoor adventure, my daughter will post passionately about something she believes in. She’ll share an article or express an opinion that some might find –well, controversial. Even uncomfortable. I have had conversations with her suggesting she limit those posts because she has so many who see them; family members or others that may be offended by her posts. But now I realize,
So be it.
Facebook has evolved incredibly since its inception and is used by literally billions of people around the globe. Sitting on a throne (or couch) of righteous indignation lecturing people on what they should and should not post is just pretty darn ridiculous.
How to cope? 1) Ignore. Yep, just keep scrolling. 2) Hide or unfriend. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s a beautiful thing. 3) Engage; either positively or negatively. Or, limit your time on social media completely.
Accepting people use their social media for reasons that may be different than yours alleviates the stress of the news feed scroll. Rather than get angry, shocked or indignant, realize that YOU have complete control.
Now that is something to LIKE!