On Facebook, I recently posted a video created by the UK publication Telegraph and I sit here now regretting the very act of doing so. It made references to the Constitution that I completely disagreed with. They were references I won’t go into detail about because I would rather not rehash it all.
It started off all so well when a friend made a good long comment arguing my point. I counter-pointed, as did my friend. It was a topic worth discussing since I believe many Americans are under the wrong impression of what the Constitution is, what it does, and who it does and does not represent.
Then another friend commented and I enjoyed going back and forth. Then another friend commented on that friend’s comment and then adding on until it became a full-fledged conversation with numerous people with varying viewpoints. A full-fledged conversation was my intention. The conversation as it turned out was not my intention because the conversation went south over the next 24 hours.
As a rule, I do try to back up whatever I say with factual information. As much as I hate being wrong, or being outpointed in a debate, I will admit to being incorrect. I won’t say it is easy to do, especially in the realm of politics.
I have said it over and over again that social media is no place for a true conversation, yet I decided to have one anyway. Why? Well, bad journalism just makes it so mouth-watering. The topic can be so rich and upsetting that one can almost feel obligated to post (sort of like I felt).
But I was wrong to post because what else could be expected? I knew it wouldn’t stick to thought-provoking comments, as much as I tried to sway it in that direction. The fact is people prefer to comment rather than consider, as if there is a timer on responding. It is much better to consider before commenting, rather than commenting and then considering the integrity of your comment.
I understand that there are rules to engagement, which is why I love the idea of debate. Unfortunately, the only debates we get are the presidential ones in which the debaters are rarely any good. Why aren’t they any good? Because the truth is not in them. The truth, as has become commonplace, is now secondary to making a comment. And now it has trickled down to the smallest common denominator: the social media comments sections.
We don’t really care much about the truth of the matter or facts. We care primarily for getting a word in, even if in edgewise, and even if it doesn’t make sense. We sacrifice our dignity and integrity to simply make a blanket statement in the comment section.
This is a short post because I am weary, a little angry, and really frustrated about the epitome of our personalized plights. We don’t seem to care if we know what we’re talking about, just as long as we’re talking. And if we’re talking in the comments section, then we know that someone is listening. But it should never be about having someone’s ear. It should only ever be about saying something in that ear that is worth listening to.