Thursday, October 25, 2012

The one and only political post ... probably ever.

I majored in Political Science in undergrad.  Thanks in part to a really cute prof ... and the philosophy side of class.    But mostly due to the cute teacher.  {hides head in embarrassment}.  Besides being handsome he was also the kind of professor who forced you to make your own decisions about politics and life, not just push his own.  He really helped me think analytically about politics and that has spilled over in all walks of my life. 
In short, I loved political philosophy, and was sort of ho-hum about modern politics.
Wanna talk about Machiavelli?  Yay!  Wanna talk about the deficit?  Scary.  

On the note I'm trying to get at ... I'm not a big facebooker anymore.  It feels like a place people either go to seek approval or drum up dissension. {I have definitely been guilty about the approval part).  It is mostly depressing, especially these days with all of the political status updates going on.  Once upon a time I went to college with a guy, he was a really kind guy.  Such a champion for the downtrodden and I always admired that about him.  Then this morning he posted a status that made my heart hurt.  It made me uncomfortable and sad, which is mostly what facebook does to me these days.  He posted a screen shot of a comment he made on another "friends" status.  I'm paraphrasing but it was all // you are a total moron if you vote for  ____.  // And then a gazillion people liked his status and cheered him on.  There was so much anger behind it all.  Everyone pointing fingers saying you're an idiot, a lost soul ...  noooooo you are!  rawr. How productive ... I joke.
But mostly I hate changing the glowing opinion I had of him.
{which has nothing to do with who he is voting for}
Which also makes me feel super judgmental, I realize.
Both two feelings I'm not fond of.   
I think it's awesome to have opinions, and I have my own too.  I'm all about passion.  
I'm also all about expressing it in a kind and loving way.  
And when it's fueled by humiliation, you better believe I turn a deaf ear.

47 comments:

  1. I completely agree. Facebook has gotten out of control with all the political posts. There is zero respect for anyone else's opinions and people are hurting people they care about. I say leave it off of facebook and take it to the voting booth.

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  2. I agree. No respect for other's and their opinions on FB. Really has turned me off to checking it and much less posting on it. Seems like bullying in the digital age.

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  3. I couldn't agree more. I am ALL for having your own opinions and caring about politics and VOTING. If you have something constructive and interesting to say then I will listen to you, if you are just being rude and bullying others for their beliefs then no thank you. There has been a lot of unfollowing on Twitter on my part - if you are just bashing the way a candidate looks or calling them names then I am not interested in being your friend. It's just plain rude!

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  4. Oh wow I ABSOLUTELY agree! Facebook is really tough that way, especially this time of year or when other big political events are happening. (I think of the NC vote to amend their state constitution to ban gay marriage. I have lots of family and friends in NC and my status feed was depressing and upsetting for weeks! I stayed away.) I certainly have my opinions, but I also believe everybody else is entitled to theirs. Let's respect each other at the same time.

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  5. You are 100% correct in this. The amazing part about the country we live in is that everyone is entitled to their opinions! Can you imagine what the political environment would be like if we all choose to embrace individuality and empathize with other points of view, rather than trying to point fingers.

    GREAT post!

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  6. Also on the bandwagon, so over it... I think some people think, "I am proud, let everyone hear my opinion!", but when they are so aggressive about it, it makes me loose some respect for that opinion.

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  7. it seems like every 4 years we become less civil when dealing with people who may think different from us. every campaign is more cruel than the previous one :(

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  8. SO TRUE, Sadie!!! So, so true! And KUDOS to you for pointing it out!

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  9. I kind of agree.... I don't think FB should be a place to harass people by of their opinions, BUT I really like to learn about how people think and what they care about. To me, fb should be as much about expressing your political views as it is about sharing baby pics and food shots. I know some people get aggressive and that is annoying ( I tend to limit them in my feed if that is the case). But if it is civil and educated, I really like the debates. I'm also a political junkie, and sometimes I find new articles or information sources from people's posts. I have a few friends that are not only posting interesting info, but witty commentaries too. Well, i guess it's to each her own. But just to reiterate, I completely agree that harassment and rudeness should not be acceptable on ANY topic. Thanks for the post today :)

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  10. Yay for poli sci undergrads! Except I hated the philosophy and love the modern stuff. We'd make a complete awesome student :)

    As a government teacher I've tempered my own opinions. I think the FB statuses that claim someone is an idiot or makes other general comments are weak & show the person making them is not as informed as they would have you believe. Its easy to say you're dumb if you support this- it requires no knowledge or thought or intelligence. Those comments are worthless.

    Or that may be my teacher side that wants everyone to be able to discuss and defend their views!

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  11. I'm currently an International Relations major, which has more to do with the political theories than American politics and I completely agree with you on this.

    I feel like just because everyone has a social media outlet, they think that gives them complete license to say whatever they want and not be mindful of others!

    I block any posts demeaning anything political. I have highlighted the funny, joking stuff- like the epic rap battle between Romney and Obama with a giant eagle.

    Sometimes people can get the humor part of politics right!

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  12. I couldn't agree more. Facebook makes me so sad. I try to always look at the positive (oh my childhood friend just got married! my college classmate just had a baby! a former colleague just got an awesome promotion!) but sadly, those updates come between ignorant, judgmental statuses. I remember when people first started getting Facebook and twitter, and those who didn't have it would always say, "why would I care what you ate for dinner, or what your favorite sports team did..." I CARE! I rather hear about those things than judging comments or non-truths that some people will believe just because someone typed it into facebook.

    Last year I gave up facebook for a good bit. Oh, it was blissful. I think my stress level took a serious nose dive. It was while my husband was deployed. Granted I was super sensitive with him being worlds away, but there were so many negative posts about the war/the president/blah blah, that just got me so upset. A particular comment really got to me. Someone posted (i'm paraphrasing too) "how can a soldier sleep at night when he is a trained killer," and tried to justify his comments by citing the bible (oy vey!) I cried, a screamed, it was all I could stand. It wasn't fair. And I understand life isn't, but I've learned that I shouldn't feel forced to surround myself (either virtually or in-person) with people who are negative. I know it sounds simple, but I gave myself permission to "defriend" people, block people & unfollow people. Because social media is what you want it to be. It can let you shrink the world or it can let you share what you want with a community of your choosing. Sure, I may have less followers or friends, but I'm happy with that. It's important that no matter what your opinions are everyone follows one rule: respect! My best friend & I have wildly different political views (both based on our morals, values and self-seeking education) and we can have discussions without it being harmful because above all we both respect each other.

    Sadly though I remain on facebook. (I'm in the marketing field, I think I would be outcasted if I wasn't...) I just try to weed out the negativity and ignore it.

    Ps -- considering we run in some of the same circles, I have a feeling I know EXACTLY who you're talking about, and if so, I felt the same way :)

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  13. Amen! I could not agree more with this post!

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  14. oh girl, i completely agree..

    and hey, i majored in philosophy! so we can talk abstractly alllll you want! but please, no mention of actual, real life problems (;

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  15. I deactivated my Facebook account last year for similar reasons. Everyone on my news feed was begging for attention. I think it fuels a self absorbed, "I'm more important than everyone else" mentality which I do not care for.

    I'm sorry that your opinion of a friend you once admired was tarnished. I feel like this happens a lot these days. I will never understand why people think it is okay to behave the way they do on social networking sites. I guess the anonymity, the not being face to face aspect of it encourages people to let out the ugliest versions of themselves.

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  16. I saw that post you're talking about and it really disheartened me too. I mean first of all it's just rude to make fun of a 'friend' in a public forum. Some people have NERVE. I attempt to find solace in the fact that it is generally the extremists on both sides of the spectrum that are the ones to take the time to type out a political post. I hope anyway!

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  17. I 100% agree with you and Lizs comment too. Hearing and seeing so much ignorant hate spewed across the internet has made me so sad and sick. I am ALL about differing opinions and expressing your thoughts intellectually and humbly, but the outright slander and rhetoric just makes me want to crawl in a hole until the election is over. I have stopped reading certain bloggers who i once would have considered a friend..not because of who they are voting for, but because of the way they are representing themselves and saying horribly offensive, ignorant and cruel things. This makes me so sad. Love you. xx

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  18. Couldn't agree more with this! I have decided to not get on facebook until this election is over. I can't believe how awful, divisive, and negative this election season has been. Regardless of who you vote for, people should be supportive of the candidates decision to try and take on probably the most pressure-filled, stressful jobs of running our nation. I have been so sick of the rude comments about both candidates and I wish people show just a shred of respect for these two great men, regardless of their standpoints and policies.

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  19. Amen! I'm turning facebook off until after the election. I don't comment enough, I'm sorry about that. But I really have to after your Admission post! Your enthusiasm about expat life helped me to take the leap 2 years ago and agree with my husband to move to Budapest. I know the clock is ticking down on when we leave, so I am soaking it all up and appreciating everything. Thank you for always being so positive & adventurous... it is absolutely infectious!

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  20. I completely agree with you! I am from Texas but now live in California, so my FB feed is filled with extremists on both sides. Some of the things that they say just come off as being ignorant and I have seen more than one friendship/relationship/whatever blast into smithereens not because of differences in political opinion, but because of the way that these differences are expressed.

    I am all for political participation and people having opinions, but the worst thing possible is to use that as an excuse to put down other people just for their beliefs.

    Thanks for this post! #KeepPoliticsOffFB :) :)

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  21. You are so right. How can we say we're all together as a country? We are the land of the free and yet if you disagree with me you are a moron? And as a Christian, how can my Christian friends do just as you described?! I agree, we should vote and have opinions and express them, but to have these 2 men tear apart lasting relationships is absolutely ridiculous. Thank you for sharing this post and I will now get off my soap box :).

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  22. This is so amazing! I loveeeee everything you wrote and couldn't agree more.

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  23. My parents were on opposites side politically. So we never talked about! And I never followed it, I liked to think ignorance is bliss when it comes to politics.

    Now that my job is for an elected official as the adoption clerk at our county's Probate Court I am knee deep in political crap. My dining room table is full of the judge's literature, my son has been to more campaign meetings and parades than I can count. It is horrible. But if my Judge wins, I get to keep my job! I get yelled out as a stuff peoples paperboxes with my Judge's face but what would they do if it was their job on the line? Don't worry the end is near and no one is counting down the days like I am! : )

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  24. You are rare. That's all I have to say. I'm not good with words...and I often stumble...but everything I've been feeling recently...well you kind of spelled it out for me. I on the other hand have been seeing more sexist comments against women on FB. Call it my "circle of friends" or just people in general. Those comments REALLY REALLY bother me. And hurt me. I feel like we still have such a long way to go and that's really sad.

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  25. This post makes my heart so happy! I'm getting so tired and worn down by how many judgmental political posts scatter my news feed these days (from both sides). I was an international studies major in college and am quite passionate about certain political issues myself. But, from the beginning a decided to make a conscious decision to not promote views that may alienate or hurt friends (and now readers). Put simply, thank you for posting this!

    xxx
    Jenna

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  26. Great points. I think the world has become too judgmental, everyone caught up in their own beliefs, never taking the time to truly listen or understand each other or make the effort to find compromise,hence nothing ever seems to get accomplished. Wish we lived in a world where people could talk or write openly about such things as politics, religion and other sensitive subjects without it turning into what you described on facebook. It's sad there are many people with brilliant ideas who never get heard, or people who are afraid to express their true thoughts. So many things can be learned from different opinions, views, thoughts,lifestyles, religions,those things help us all grow....but we need to create a world where people feel free to express them without being bullied,judged or hurt.

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  27. Oh man, that makes me sad. I got off Facebook back in 2009, it was horrible and I just see it getting even worse. It took a lot in me just to sign up for a "pages" for my photography/design.

    Social media has become a bashful & whining tool I find, and I quickly unfollow those that are always complaining about others or their own life ungratefully. Hopefully they reflect on their "timeline" on-line and realize how much hurt has been documented and will change.

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  28. AMEN SISTA! love this post. it's so true....

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  29. Oh you are so right! I am guilty of making some not so nice status updates lately and I always feel like I'm out of line doing so.
    PS We went to the same college and I have a feeling I know EXACTLY which poli sci professor you are talking about ;)

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  30. I totally agree. There was another great someecard that also illustrated how I feel: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi03M2U0MTFlYWIyNDA3M2Vm . : ) But in all seriousness, don't people lose sight of the bigger picture in their perceived fight about 'good vs evil' and 'right vs wrong'? Whomever we elect will be gone in 4 years (perhaps 8) and their influence will be very limited by a number of factors. Furthermore, the person after them will likely try to undo a fair amount of it, especially if they're from the opposing party. Not to say it's not important - it is - but isn't the kind of person you are and the way you treat the people you know at least equally important? That's the America we live in every day: our community, in our homes, our workplaces, and our social media network. So let's make an effort to protect that.

    I hope people learn from you in what you share here. I know you always inspire me to be better and as kind as possible.

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  31. I loved this post! I have been turning such a deaf ear to everything that I see on twitter. It's funny that a lot of people re-tweet what other people say so awfully. It's like they feel safe because they didn't actually say it themselves. I HATE it. I feel that America prides itself on being this awesomely powerful country and everyone has free speech and its suppose to be a democracy. But it doesn't feel like that AT ALL to me. It all just feels so draaaaaamtic to me! And everyone is suppose to vote for the one party (which ever one it is) I know you can't really compare to Australian politics because it's such a small scale over here compared, but it definitely doesn't feel even 1% of the intenseness as it does over there. It's CRAZY! It would tire me out so much haha. It's interesting to see from my point of view but I'm quite happy not having to get too into it :)

    Xxxx

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  32. Since I'm an expat, I rely on FB to help me stay connected to all of my friends, and it's nice to have them all right there together. But since this election started heating up, I'm never on it. I don't know when people became so full of hate for their opposing political party but it's disgusting.

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  33. First of all, I completely forgot that you were a Poli Sci major and got a little TOO excited upon realizing that. Poli Sci is my major too and I had to laugh at the fact that I'm not a fan of most political theory but love modern politics. Too funny!

    Anyway, I'm really unsure of how to phrase a proper response to this because I agree and disagree. Without trying to sound pretentious or "holier-than-thou" I consider myself to be decently politically engaged. Facebook, as I understand it, is a place to express your interests and show what is going on in your life; for me, a lot of this is politics. I do post political things and I think that is important, without digressing too far: youth political apathy appears to be an issue of failing to engage with where they're at. If my, hopefully thoughtful and usually respectful, post about an issue, news update, or political candidate, can confront someone in a way that engages rather than alienates them simply because it showed up on their news feed, then I think that is a positive thing.

    I don't want to defend your friend too much, mainly because I think part of the reason people shy away from politics is because of things like that, but I do think it is important to look at the potential reasons for such a heated response. I would group his response into the, and I mean this as respectfully as possible, "dumbed down angry response" which oversimplifies issues and places blame on supporters rather than candidates. This doesn't help anything. However, had he called out a candidate on a specific policy issue and been as respectful of supporters and understanding of valid alternative opinions as possible to provoke thoughtful debate, I see no issue with this.

    I apologize for the excessively long response. I hope it makes sense and that you don't find it offensive. None of this was meant to insult you, I'm just a politics junkie and find much of the commentary out there on how it is discussed to be really disheartening.

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  34. Point well made, Sarah! Thanks for sharing xxx

    Aisha
    www.themiddleofhere.com

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