The online world is a funny place. So much of our time is spent navigating online apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, trying to get as many likes as we can and as many followers as we can with that elusive post or tweet that people will just love and repost. In many cases, some people put more effort into their online relationships than they do their real life face to face relationships. I know people who can hold their own online, however try o engage them in conversation face to face and you have a deer in headlights standing before you. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the online world: makin people awkward and anti-social through social media. Ironic, really.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and think that used right can open up a whole new world of relationships and knowledge. But that’s just it, it’s not often used well. When I look at the online world, I see more focus on discrimination and hatred than I do love and grace. The online world has given people a way to be mean and hurtful to others through the click of a few buttons. People from across the globe, or across the street, can spew their hatred and bully people, all from the comfort of their own homes. I saw this recently on a post that was made about a well know person (not going to mention who as they are not the point of this post). Scrolling through the comments, I was honestly astounded and shocked at what some people had posted. Death threats, vile accusations, crude names, you name it. And scrolling through it, all I could think was, “What’s the point? What are you getting out of being such a brat?” After a while I stopped scrolling because I was getting irritated by it all. But I just don’t get.
A while ago I made the decision to not discuss certain things online, so that meant I wouldn’t respond to other people’s posts and I wouldn’t put up any of my own around certain topics, regardless of how much a post or comment upset me offended me. This wasn’t because I was embarrassed by my views (some of them are unpopular but I’m okay with that), it was more that I didn’t want to invite the hatred and arguing and criticisms. I knew that either way, regardless of which side of the fence I sat on regarding certain topics, I would offend and upset someone. And unfortunately, many people out there view disagreement as discrimination and an excuse to attack and accuse. Thanks, but no thanks. I would rather keep my pages nice and friendly. I’ve watched friends of mine post things online and get into heated discussions and debates with people, and I didn’t want a part of it. I’m happy to discuss my views and beliefs in a one on one setting, and won’t shy away from any topic, but I just chose to not do it online.
Another reason I’ve taken this approach is because I believe in ‘live and let live’. Not everyone is going to agree with my views and that’s fine, just don’t discriminate against me and don’t ridicule what I believe in because really, that’s just not cool. I don’t ridicule what others believe in, regardless of what I may privately think of it, so why can’t people do the same? You don’t agree with someone else’s faith? Great, good for you, leave them be and focus on your own beliefs. Is it necessary to make derogatory comments about it online and ridicule it? Why can’t people just accept that some people are different and move on? We’re not all going to agree on everything, and that’s okay, really. Let me be clear in this: I’m not saying that you give up your beliefs and values to avoid an argument. I personally wouldn’t change my beliefs for anyone, I am who I am and all I ask is that people accept me and respect my decisions. What I’m saying is, just because you don’t believe in the same things as others, you don’t have to go around criticising people and being rude to them. Just keep on scrolling until you find a post that you like. Why do people feel the need to have a go at a complete stranger because they don’t like what they posted?
There is so much meanness and ugliness online already, so why do we need to add to it? I may not always post things that others like, but I try my best to show love and grace in everything I do. I try my best to just love other people for who they are, regardless of what they believe in or practice. Why can’t we all just get along and have one big cyber group hug??