Rejoining Social Media – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

It has been a few years since I’ve been on social media, specifically Facebook, because even prior to 2016, the political judgments and general ignorance which prevailed was a downer on an already problematic life situation. I didn’t want to hear the vitriolic commentary about politicians and policy, so I removed it from my life, and honestly, I was better for having done so at the time. But now that I have been following the political landscape, I figured it was time to take another look.

Currently, I still have less than 15 friends, taking things slowly, yet everyday I see multiple new political memes and commentary posted every day, particularly from 2 of those friends. In fact, it is about 50/50 cute animal and family posts from 13, and 50% of posts from these 2 politically charged individuals on my friends list, both of whom are obvious leftists.

One notable one was a re-post of a tweet from some random person posting at 1 in the morning which stated: “I admit I jumped the gun when I said those MAGA kids should have their lives ruined. Now that more info about the students and their school has come to light, I believe their families should also have their lives ruined, and Covington Catholic should be bulldozed to the ground.” I felt the need to comment: “This kind of post is really grotesque. Why not get out the pitchforks and torches while you’re at it.” Thus-far, I have not received any response.

Another re-post from the same friend from another random person: “Black teens get gunned down on the streets for just wearing a hoodie while white teens have expensive PR teams that gaslight us through respected journalists and make us second guess racist actions seen on video. This is the nature of white supremacy. It’s powerful and insidious.” My response: “And the Israelites were so well behaved, and the native activist in no way targeted a red hatted minor, so yes, let’s continue to demonize pro-life Catholic kids. Because that’s productive.” Again, no response thus-far.

I just responded to a recent comment on Trump’s speech announcing the re-opening of government from a different friend, this one stated eloquently: “Donald Douce Bag you are an orange freak,” to which I responded with “Very mature observation. I’ll have to remember this formula. Name + Douchebag + You are a (skin color) freak. That’ll teach em.” No response yet, though this is recent.

Now, I am not on the best of terms with any of these friends really, and I’m starting to realize why that is. They aren’t bad people, but they are childish people with narrow perspectives, and I have always been on a mission to increase depth in any situation I go into. It is hard to increase the depth of thinking when shallow thinking is the habit. I never really realized that though, because I never had extended political discussions with them. I let them think what they wanted without challenge most of the time. That restraint is what lead me to giving up on social media years ago, because it is harder to stay quiet, and let’s just say my rule now is to respond to every ignorant or immature post I come across moving forward, regardless of who it is.

Because here’s the thing, as a former automatic liberal (since I’m homosexual and my family was comprised of artists, it really was the automatic viewpoint everyone assumed me to be), I had to keep my mouth shut when people said horrifically stupid things about the world, because I told myself, “Well, what do I really know, if they are this passionate about it, they probably have a point, and their heart is in the right place either way, and I’d hate to come off as judgmental to a friend.” Yeah, well, no longer.

Just because someone is passionate does not mean they are right. My mother taught me that by subjecting me to years of passionate accusations against my father, the majority of which were untrue, because she LIKED to fight. Yes, people like to fight sometimes. It’s a real thing. As far as coming off as judgmental, why should I hold myself to a standard these people clearly are not holding themselves to? I won’t launch personal attacks, but I will judge ideas and conclusions without reservation because that is my right and duty as a citizen of a nation founded largely on the sanctity of freedom of speech. If these people can raise such a fuss over red hats and spray-on tans, then I will call them on their petty, immature attitudes. That’s all there is to it. And if anyone doesn’t like it and unfriends me over it, good riddance.

For over a decade I haven’t spoken with my own brother, because it seemed to me he failed to respond to a message from me because he had found out I was gay. He didn’t say anything specific, but there was a post from him on Facebook that struck me as a passive-aggressive comment regarding my sexuality. I never tried to follow-up, because I was so offended by my born-again Christian brother who had already judged my sister in years passed for getting an abortion and being a lesbian, so I already knew what he’d think of me based on how my sister and mother claims he treated her!

Now I look back on all that logic and come to the conclusion that it was insane. For one, any judgment my brother may have bestowed upon my sister is something I have no way of knowing for sure, given that both my sister and mother tend to doctor their information to suit their own needs. Second, something he did years ago does not mean he would do the same now or in this circumstance. Finally, he is my brother, and I didn’t even give him the benefit of the doubt enough to talk to him directly about it. That makes my reaction not only insane, but assumptive and cruel.

Finally, after a decade, I reached out to him, and we are starting to talk again. My own mother and father refuse to respond to any messages I have sent them, too scared to face me in light of the truth bombs I threw at them regarding my childhood. My own sister gave excuse after excuse for why she couldn’t call me back or come to my apartment to visit. But my brother, the one I had written off due to the opinions of these other family members who are now in the doghouse, responded to my message kindly, and has followed up with me kindly. He hasn’t even thrown any passive-aggressive commentary at me which should be considered a miracle when speaking to anyone from my family. It was because of my liberal, victim, offense parade mindset that my brother and I couldn’t have a relationship. Now we can. Go figure.

Save yourself the trouble and realize how you are being insane today, whether you be on the right or the left. Both can go a bit whacky, to say the least, but in this day and age, I am really more concerned about the leftist insanity. I am biased though, given that it has affected me negatively more-so than rightist insanity. Regardless, once you can get past some of the bullshit lodged in your neuron pathways, you may just find you have more people rooting for you than you think. Though, on the flip-side, you are likely to see just how many people you think are good people are not, in fact, as good as you thought… which is a real pity. Point out their nonsense and see what you can do. If they become too much of a burden or leave you in a rush of offense, well, in the words of our president: “Bye-bye”.

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