I think one of the biggest problems our world faces today stems from the fact that we have become a nation with a broken filter. Please know that when I say this, I don’t mean this to be true of everyone, but in general. Too many feel free to say whatever they want and apply it to all with little regard for unintended consequences. Social media perpetuates this because so often it lacks accountability. Then we hear someone else’s blanket statement and believe it applies to us, so more blanket statements occur. Even more troublesome is we often say things on social media we would not say to someone’s face. We know this lack of filtering makes us feel icky, but yet, it continues.
At the same time, while we don’t filter our own thoughts and opinions, we often filter the perspective of others. We don’t spend much time thinking about why those who have different views of ourselves have those feelings. We forget that just because we may not agree, we can have empathy. We sometimes assume anyone different from ourselves has the extreme perspective that is plastered all over the news and social media and blindly categorize without filtering what is true and what is not.
The truth is blanket statements never truly apply to everyone. The truth is the extremist views really are a small group of the population, and their statements are only true about a small group. I think we have to not take people’s “blanket social media” posts as personal and feel the need to respond or share to them publicly unless they were specifically directed to us. Public arguments on social media rarely end in harmony or positive resolution. As an educator, I still tell children “if you can’t say something nice…”, “just because they said it doesn’t mean it’s true,” “try to put yourself in their shoes” . These are things I learned from my family and teachers, and I believe they still apply.
Thank you to all of my social media friends who continue to post joy and spread happiness. That is always what this world needs: patience, compassion, hope, joy, and faith. Basically, a little less judgment, a little more restraint. We need to fix our filter.
Make it a great day social media friends; it’s your choice.