I just read an article that made me think of a post I wrote at the beginning of the semester regarding what we share Facebook. About how many people steer clear of religious, political, or other controversial postings because it could create conflict, attention, and even bad feelings the poster didn’t want to cause. Some people feel alright with this, and with sharing what they believe no matter what, but others would rather keep the peace.
How often do you see posts you don’t agree with on your Facebook feed? Are your friends like you or are they on the opposing side of your beliefs? The article I read: Do You Agree With Your Facebook Friends’ Politics? Not Likely addresses this. Apparently it is very common to have friends who do not think like you, even though humanity always seems to want to find “people like me”. However, when a conflicting view pops up, most people just ignore it. Most won’t read it, a lot less will respond, and I’m guessing almost no one will read and be converted to a new way of thinking.
I think my biggest pet peeve right now has to do with this. Most of these political posts are harmless promotions of one candidate over another, but some of them are blatant attacks on people’s beliefs. For example, the hot button issue of contraception. When you are comparing one group that believes that not being able to get an abortion sets women back to the 1700’s, and another group that believes that these women are OK with murdering innocent lives because of selfishness – how are people not going to take this personally? How can you tell someone that it is their fault for being offended at what you said? How can you not start a firestorm? Many people on the far-left and far-right wings share their opinions on this through Facebook, but most will never. The fear of being attacked and then having to constantly respond to people who will never believe as they do is just not worth it for them.
This is my pet peeve: when people attack someone for what they believe instead of just sharing how they view the issue. It is so easy to judge someone else and make general statements about them, but it takes restraint to see their point of view, and discuss the difference between theirs and your own. I think many more people would be willing to share, and hopefully learn from one another, if they weren’t so scared or intimidated by the big mouths out there.