Important to have opinions, but be respectful when sharing

Important+to+have+opinions%2C+but+be+respectful+when+sharing

It’s not really something I want to do, but I almost feel obligated to make a comment on the recent election, as I’m sure everyone on campus could probably write well over 500 words on the subject.

I’ve seen Facebook posts over the past week long enough to qualify as filibuster speeches. OK, maybe not that long.

But this column is not at all about the politics involved but simply how polarizing the election has been and how disgusting it is to see it drive such an ugly wedge between my friends and family.

I’m not sure why access to the internet makes people think they’re on “Meet the Press” all the sudden, but unfortunately it does.

Maybe more like “Jerry Springer” at this point. Yeah, it’s important to have these opinions, but you’re not changing anyone’s mind.

The discussions usually become rude fairly quickly and people on both sides end up saying some pretty mean things they wouldn’t say in person.

So now, instead of being a place to see pictures of your friends studying abroad or to post that funny video of your dog trying to avoid a bath, it’s primarily a place to call your loved ones idiots, or maybe something at least a little wittier.

While golfing way back in July, one of my close friends told me how the election had already made things tense within his family. Long story short, his dad had promptly unfriended his out-of-state sister on Facebook because of their differences over the election after some not-so-subtle opinions were exchanged.

It’s amusing to me to think of my friend’s retired father sitting in his recliner furiously typing away on his little iPhone getting ready to send out a real zinger.

I hope that both of them have realized that although they may have differences that neither will ever be able to understand, they still each love each other.

Or maybe they haven’t yet.

I’d say buying stock in turkey would probably be a good investment right now since not as many people will be sharing one next week.

It’s also caused strife in my own extended family, which I’m not ashamed to admit because I know we’re far from the only ones going through it.

Since I was born we’ve had a huge party on Christmas Eve, which is often the only time of the year many family members get to see each other. Now, that’s in jeopardy because some of the adults couldn’t behave themselves on Facebook and there are sore feelings on both sides.

Of course the year I turn 21 and can finally enjoy family parties the way they were meant to be, and sometimes needed to be, there is none.

So add Jesus’ birthday to the things spoiled by this election. Perhaps stock in coal would be another wise investment this holiday season.

Stop making enemies with people you love. They’re literally called “friends” on Facebook, yet there is an awful lot of unfriendly activity going on there.

As great as freedom of speech is, maybe Facebook isn’t the place to be drawing lines in the sand. There are plenty of other opportunities to do so where it may actually make a difference, and save you a few friendships or maybe even a Christmas party.

As divided as the country is now and will be for a while, at least keep those close to you in your life.

KYLE JOSEPH
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