I figure one of the reasons people post things is to bring it to light. Unfortunately, I realize they only post to have their own opinion reinforced. If you don't agree, they don't want your comments. I suppose that almost makes sense, but to me, if they only wish to have their views reinforced, then do it someplace that doesn't allow commentary. Why would you publicize your views if you only expect approval and agreement. What exactly does a person accomplish by insisting they have the right of things?
And I suppose much of it comes down to my perverse reasoning of tolerance. I always took it to mean that others may hold view, values and beliefs that differ from my own. They are perfectly free to share them with me and may even try to convince me they are correct. I would not take offense, I respect their desire as well as their thoughts. But if I tell them that I still do not agree, I hardly expect to be attacked as a simple, narrow-minded slug. Most the time they instantly assign labels, mostly derogatory, almost always inaccurate. That however is total purpose of social networks. Not tolerance, but a vehicle for attacks, as if we don't have enough already.
I have come to realize it is not about sharing ideas, expanding our concepts, learning that we have to accept differences. It is about getting in line, following the mindset and not daring to differ. Tolerance on social media isn't learning that beliefs and values are a two way street, its being made to conform to a single belief as the ONLY way. Offer an opposing thought, even if its only a desire to make someone see that there are other opinions, and suddenly you are a pariah. To speak in opposition on social media threads is tantamount to the having to declare with clacker and voice that you are leper passing through. And trust me, the others may let you pass, but as in days of old, they will be hurling stones, garbage and epitaphs at you.
Someone made a comment about aging tattoos looking horrid. Having seen such a thing on a some an elderly woman when I was young made me realize that was not something I cared to see in my older years. This particular aged tattoo which started out as a colorful butterfly was a stretched out blue blob, vaguely in the shape of a very elongated thing with wings. I swore never to get a tattoo after that visual. My comment that I did not think people realized the permanence and evolution of this body art was greeted with outrage. Suddenly it was seen as an attack on anyone who had tattoos, and I was a horrid person for judging them. I scratched my head, wondering how it was the poster could essentially say the same thing, but because I thought people might be less than thrilled with them at age 70, I was evil incarnate. They insisted it was art, it was an expression of their values, it was a statement. My thought was, okay, so? Have at it, I don't care as long as they don't create a government program that I have to support with my tax dollars when you regret your choice and want it removed or altered. I can't imagine why people would believe others would take their 'body art' as an impressive statement to their cause, since most people avoid looking at these massive tattoos. Its like gawking at a sideshow, sort of fascinating, but not something you really want to get up close and personal with. But if its what they want, I do not care, it is not my body they are defacing. But they attacked with great vengeance.
I don't watch TV and rarely go to movies. They just don't strike me as entertaining any longer. Many just promote the same issues that divide us already. They have mean humor between characters. Not teasing sort but truly hurtful things like beating up on an intelligent kid, showing them as being a loser next to the popular kid. Maybe on TV it is funny, in the classroom it is not. And yet we refuse to see why bullying is on the increase. We see not relationship between what we enthusiastically endorse on TV and what our children take into the classroom.
The other day I saw a trailer for Game of Kings. There was full nudity, rape, graphic beheadings and gruesome torture and death, and I discovered that it is on TV. Not a movie parents might be able to control, no, zoomed right into the livingroom for your basest pleasure. Of course I was told it was not directed at kids. Well, I am sure that is helpful. And someone on Facebook insisted it had a very good plot.
It was then I felt rather alone in the world, a failure in modern society, a freak of nature in the wrong place and time, a leper.
So we beam this into households weekly and claim its great plot makes it acceptable. Of course in my perverse reasoning, I saw the suicide terrorists of 9-11 as having diabolically masterful plotting skills. Until that moment when they hit the towers, I do not believe anyone ever considered the destructive potential of airplanes full of fuel. But as much as I recognized their horrendous ability, it did not make me a believer in their cause, it engendered no admiration for the plot, I could not find anything other anger for their senseless and evil taking of lives from people who had done nothing to them. I think most feel the same. But instead of making us more aware that violence is not the answer, instead of trying to find ways of not glorifying such perversion, we sit in front of the idiot-box, mesmerized and justifying the great plot involved in producing senseless, gruesome violence. We refuse to see any causal effect between inuring ourselves and our children to such depravity and the increasing callus disregard for others and violence permeating our schools and highways and every other encounter.
But don't object in social media. Instantly you will be declared stupid. People will claim they watch it and haven't killed anyone so it must be okay. They will attack you as just a moron who wants to put others down. It won't sink in that somehow, sometime, somewhere, condoning violence, attacking others is not tolerance, it is not being open minded, it is only denying what we don't want to give up. But social media isn't designed for thoughtful discussion. Its designed to further attacks, for hurling accusations and further dividing an already stratified society. We don't have to view the pain we inflict when we attack on social media, we don't have to appear reasonable, we don't even have to think. We just have to insist we are right, line up only those who agree and turn on those who don't.
So like much in today's society, I don't know how to do social media. Most of the time I just lurk and make no comment. I read the appalling attacks, the self-righteous proclamations, the insistence of only one side is right. A gay person has every right to attack anyone who doesn't agree with their lifestyle as being worse than lowest life form with no right to exist alongside them. A Christian has every right to damn every homosexual to hell as evil incarnate. And neither will accept that perhaps their perceptions are just different. A person doesn't have to agree or approve, as long as they don't continue the name calling. But they won't agree, and in their process of keeping up their false righteousness, they will claim justification because they are tolerant and the other is not. Failing all along to see that tolerance is just saying, it is what it is, you have your life and I have mine, and though we may never agree, we are still people who should work towards making things better without accusations.
Just don't expect such a thing as tolerance to come up in social media, don't expect it to condemn violence when it comes in the guise of entertainment, and don't have opinion that differs from the poster. Follow in complacent agreement or keep your mouth shut, because differences are not welcomed. Or better yet, avoid social media if you cannot align to a single mindset, since you may accidentally step on a landmine.