I have been seriously contemplating deleting Facebook for a long while but it has escalated since the election season has gotten heated up and since people have become obsessed with a man standing for the national anthem. When I first joined Facebook it was because I was on the Reunion committee for my high school and it was the easiest way to get in contact with long lost friends. And back then that to me was the sole purpose of Facebook; to get in touch with friends we haven’t seen in a while, to reconnect, to look at pictures, to reminisce over old romances, and to have fun. Over time I have found that Facebook, as much of social media, has become a platform for hate, contempt, complete disregard for other’s perspective or feelings, bigotry, arguments, hell downright fights, and ugliness. I have begun to miss the mundane statuses of days past such as “Amy Delaney is taking a nap”. Now it’s as divisive as the country we reside in. It is polarized, it is inflamed with ugly rhetoric and name calling, it is not so much a fun place to be, and I find I have to wade through a lot of shit before I get to my old roommate from college’s pictures of her kids (Love you Sue).
I rarely post political or social commentary. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that I post a lot of pictures of the food I make (sorry not sorry), the lizard that lives with us, some things I find very funny, and stupid memes that make me chuckle. But lately I’ve felt that remaining silent when there is so much ugliness around makes me feel uncomfortable. It actually makes me feel more uncomfortable than confronting the ignorance and anger and bigotry and hate. I cannot sit back silently while everything in me is screaming out in protest against how people are treating fellow human beings. I treat the pet spider outside my house better than I see a lot of people treating other people on this platform and that’s scarier than the spider itself. Although the spider has gotten very big and my husband fed it a large mosquito the other day and we watched as the spider literally bit the head off of the mosquito. But anyway, I digress. I am finding it abhorrent on my part to sit back and be quiet about things that I know are wrong on a human level. I will always be a human first above anything else and when I see people not being good human beings around me I can’t just do nothing.
I hovered the other day around the deactivate button but what stopped me then were all my pictures. I have tons of pictures in my albums on Facebook that have not been saved in the mysterious cloud. So today I was all, well I’ll save the pictures and then deactivate. But then I got sucked into a Facebook post where commented in a very civil way and then was attacked by someone who called me a “leftist baby” and I just thought, hell no, I’m not going anywhere. I have a responsibility to speak my human mind on any platform I wish and if I see things that go against being a good human I will speak and I will speak loudly. We have very real problems in this country. To say that America is great because of the amount of guns and bombs and money and power we have is a tragedy. America was founded on great principals such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, etc. It is the freedom of speech that really speaks to me now. Under this amendment a person is entitled to expressive conduct. “Expressive conduct, also called ‘symbolic speech‘ or ‘speech acts‘, is nonverbal conduct that intends to communicate a message. Example include creating or destroying an object when performed as a statement (such as flag burning in a political protest), silent marches and parades intended to convey a message, clothing bearing meaningful symbols (such as anti-war armbands), body language, messages written in code, ideas and structures embodied as computer code (“software“), mathematical and scientific formulae, and illocutionary acts that convey by implication an attitude, request, or opinion.” In order to bring out the greatness in America we must stand up for injustices, speak our truths, and work together by listening, learning, collaborating, changing what isn’t working or isn’t right and strengthening our belief that every human is entitled to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Until this happens we will remain ugly and divisive and that scares and saddens me all at once.
So I’m not going anywhere. Sorry, you’ll have to deal with more pictures of the lizard and my kids and my food. And you’ll also have to deal with me standing up for what is right on a human level. I will not be silent and I will not be uncomfortable engaging in rhetoric that is necessary to bring about positive change. In the process I will not personally attack people or call them names but I will strive to provide information and a point of view that may be different. I invite anyone willing to join me. We are smarter and better than what is currently happening all over social media so let’s start acting that way.