“The definition of insanity is posting the same opinions over and over again on social media and expecting a different result.” -jh
There’s a better way through these choppy waters than the anonymous slacktivism which is social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the grown-up (yet infantile) reincarnations of the Slam Books which were circulated at Fondren Middle School in the 80’s. In the crisp blue-lined 3-hole-punched kingdom, anything went; cloaked in anonymity, any hateful thought or demeaning comment one had, one felt free to let fly.
The unspoken observations of the masses became clear to the unsuspecting individuals through this medium. The profuseless perspirers from gym and the innocent 7th grader who got blamed for slamming the science door on Mr. Bloxom’s pointer finger and de-digitizing him became aware of their sub-humanness this way. We clothed ourselves in starched polos and ribbon belts but what terrible judgements lurked just beneath the surface. These took voice in the hidden world of slam books.
I know it sounds incredulous now since we are all grown up but in Middle School we only wanted to surround ourselves with people exactly like us. Then again we were mired in insecurity and had not established our identities on anything other than who our parents were and how hot our boy / girlfriend was. We were so silly. The substance of our character was no where nearly as vital as which jeans we wore or how perfectly our wings could be swooped back with our enormous combs.
The king of the hill in middle school was the one with the sharpest come backs, ” Oooh, burn! ” would echo down the hall as we all clamored to hear the insult. And the offended? Usually laughter followed by a wince of pain or a threat of retaliation. Public humiliation of others was a commodity and if one was gifted in that art, friends and fans followed. The most popular kids were the ones with the greatest gifts of verbal insult.
But enough about the 7th grade, let’s talk about our country. I am so refreshed when I venture onto social media and see respectful dissent and peaceful disagreement about our nation. What matters most to us seems to be one another and not our iron-clad opinions which people either completely agree with or are idiots. Nice that there is that lush grassland of humility where other’s differing opinions do not bring hatred like a virus which we may catch if our ears civilly listen to an entire thought which fails to match up with our own.
Aren’t you so thankful when you consider how far we have come since middle school?