Saturday, June 10, 2017

Are you a victim of social media judgment?

Aren't we all? Forging a peaceful online path often means circumventing the trolls. I recently posted the following three paragraphs on Facebook, inspired by a meme, but there is so much more to this thought process. So, I decided to expand my thoughts here.

Not so much about me, sometimes I'm a bit too much of an open book. LOL But please remember, some people choose not to put everything about themselves on the book of faces or speak about everything in their lives publicly. This is not to look "perfect" or because they're being "fake" but to retain their right to privacy. We all have struggles and we all make mistakes. Not everyone is comfortable sharing theirs.

And (partially about me) don't assume someone is a "bitch" because they have a public meltdown on a bad day. We all have bad days and none of us know everything about anyone. Maybe, like in my case, they were on meds. Maybe they lost a loved one that day. Maybe their boss or someone close to them hurt them to the core that day and something you said unintentionally, reminded them or aggravated them further.

There are a lot of people getting in touch with folks they haven't seen in years on here too. Keep in mind that they have likely grown, learned and changed since then. Try to take people for who they really are, rather than what you expect or remember them to be.”

Are you a victim of social media judgment? If you are, don't feel alone. All of us have been at one time or another. Even the person who's judging you. In fact, that may be what prompted them to be hostile toward you in the first place. Ironic. But true.

And Facebook in particular seems to have taken on a more hostile, less peaceful tone in general. It's not really what it was intended to be in the beginning, is it? Rather than just being a way to keep in touch and get to know people, it has also become a sounding board for anything and everything that bugs us, keeps us awake at night or touches us.

Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes, not so much.

Facebook has certainly brought awareness to many and given us a podium on which to spread said awareness. You know, so that they can choose for themselves what to do about it.

Choose is the operative word, though, isn't it? It's important to realize that our social media friends may not share our beliefs and that not everyone who shares their beliefs is trying to brainwash us either. Just because I post what I believe, well, that doesn't mean I expect everyone else to agree. That would be ridiculous.

I also see a lot of defensive comments on my posts and others when nerves are touched or opinions clash. I'm certainly guilty of that myself, although I am working to improve that.

It's that very aspect of social media that makes some of us think that maybe we were better off NOT being aware of absolutely everything in real time. However, NOT knowing also means not having the opportunity for positive, peaceful change in my book.

If you agree, do try to remember that not everyone feels that way. And whether someone else agrees with you or not, as long as they are not harassing or belittling you, they have a perfect right to their own opinion. Yes, no matter how misguided it may be in your opinion.

On a side note, I have also noticed that no matter your opinion, you can now find at least what looks like irrefutable evidence to support it simply by googling it. Now, that doesn't mean said evidence is always accurate. That's why it's important that we do research on both sides of the coin, not believe everything we read and use our heads for something besides a hat rack, as my parents were fond of saying.

But above all, stop passing judgment on people, based solely on their social media posts. Because, as the meme that inspired this post says, “Just because I don't always share my troubles, doesn't mean I don't have them. At times I may be fighting battles you know nothing about.”

Be kind everyone. Help each other. Lend a hand. It's the good stuff. In fact, it's the only thing that really matters. The only thing you leave behind is memories. And as has been said, try your best to make them good ones.

But if you don't, well, apologize, forgive and start over. Because nobody's perfect. Not even you.

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