Yesterday, I got angry at a post I saw on Facebook. Here it is:
One thing I’ve learned about certain people on Facebook is that you should take a screenshot of conversations like this one because usually, within minutes of losing an argument, the poster will take them down and Unfriend you. I’m amazed at how some people cannot allow themselves to be wrong, but will call out publicly anyone else they disagree with. If you will note, this poster started the whole exchange by condemning non-Trump supporters as people who were rejecting God. He messaged me during this exchange, which I’m going to kindly refrain from also putting up here, because he got personal and ridiculous, and made not one good argument in support of his theory. Instead, he says he can tell what kind of Christian I am from my Facebook page. Well. I’ll admit. 90% of my posts are shares about cute animals, 5% are pictures of my animals, 3% are stupid tests like which fairy tale princess I am, and about 2% are links to this blog. I can see how he could tell so much about me.
Here’s the thing. Social media has given us the illusion that if we don’t like what we’ve said, we can just delete it like we never said it, and there should be no consequences. We can Unfriend the injured party, and bam! No one will ever know we stepped in it and offended someone with our words.
It teaches us that we shouldn’t have to apologize because we can pretend we never said something wrong. I don’t like that at all. We don’t always say or do the right thing. We are all careless and wrong sometimes. The bigger person…the wiser person… would back it up, test their words against their conscience, and if found wrong, admit it with humility and apologize. The delete key doesn’t unring any bells, my friend.
I have friends on both sides of this election. Best friends, and people I truly love. Maybe that’s why I want so badly for all of this to calm down. It bothers me that I could lose some of my liberal friends by hoping I’m wrong about Trump, and by accepting he is, in fact, our duly elected president, God help us all. It bothers me I can’t celebrate happily with my Right-wing friends over what they consider a triumph for this country. But I owe all of them the courtesy of being honest.
I rarely Unfriend anyone. Normally, I reserve that stroke for stalkers, pot-stirrers who won’t let go, and people I’m fairly sure borrowed an American name to go trolling for lonely women on the internet. What I won’t do is Unfriend someone who is adamant about what they believe, even if it isn’t what I believe, and conducts themselves politely despite of the difference.
That guy did exactly what I knew he would do. He disappeared off my feed, taking his doomed conversation with him. In a way, I’m kind of sad I was right. We’re forgetting how to connect with each other, and this technology is teaching us bad things.