Free Speech vs Social Media Cruelty – Twitter death threats? Picking fights on facebook about a celebrities comments on hurricane relief? Trolling high school football message boards with slanderous gossip about 15 year old student athletes? How much is too much? Free Speech vs Social Media Cruelty.
DISCLAIMER – As you may know, in my 12 years since founding Oakland County Moms,
I rarely write anything that is opinionated. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind on religion, politics, or parenting. My goal is for OCM is it for to be an asset… a community resource. I’m not here to lecture. Also, I have seen far too often how cruel people can be in their responding attacks. However, I reached a point where I can’t try to ignore it anymore and hold back my thoughts. This is coming from a place of sadness and disappointment.
Free Speech vs Social Media Cruelty
In my line of work, I have friends in the media that I am connected with on social media. Recently, and I won’t mention names, one of the reporters posted about a story he was covering. A viewer felt the need to reply with (censored, but not grammatically corrected)…
“…I think your an excellent reporter, but, you and the rest of the jackasses are nothing more than media whores. You guys have no business getting in folks way just to grab a story. I guarantee you one thing, if something big were to happen, and you shoved a microphone in my face, I would break your nose. You have plenty of things to report on back here like all of the bull**** of everything being racist or what gives these overpaid crybabies the right to take a knee during the National Anthem.”
Sadly, this is just one example of what I see often on social media. Of course, this is nothing new, it’s just what put me over the edge, I mean, seriously, a guarantee to break someone’s nose??? Or, what about the high school football forums where there is direct ridicule towards the high school players? Or, the Jimmy Kimmel skit where the athletes read off the vulgar tweets written by “fans” about themselves. None of this is at all close to how we should be united as a nation.
Another friend of mine who works in sports radio had to laugh it off when he saw the Twitter profiles on these people…they claim to be Christian, family-focused individuals, yet they’re slinging insults of violent nature at people.. even death threats?!. I’m not talking about a political figure here, I’m talking about a freaking sports radio host! Why are people feeling entitled to act like this?
The world is not a perfect place. Everyone will have issues with others on occasion. But, how you choose to handle it dictates the type of person you are.
Hiding behind the shields of social media is weak and egotistical. Plain and simple. I am the type of person that if I have a problem with someone, I try to civilly and openly discuss it with the person directly. Sure, it’s not the easy way out…nobody likes a confrontation. But, it sure beats the cowardly approach of the social media bully who really isn’t voicing concerns in hopes of resolving issues, but rather to stand out and make a scene. Someone who speaks their mind at levels of hysterics, cruelty, violence, etc. is not going to bring anyone closer. No one ever said “Yeah, you got a point” in response to someone else just calling them an a**hole.
I believe in the Freedom of Speech, but that’s not what this is about. In my world, social media it’s more about having a safe place to share fun and happy things, and taking that place and destroying it with negativity and outbursts. I guess my vision is different from many people’s vision.
I am grateful for the goodness Social Media has brought and I applaud the efforts and accomplishments to those who have used it as a unifying tool. To the rest, I pray that you will see the light and put your energies more towards making improvements through effective communication and keeping our nation united. Trolling is one thing during a rivalry game, or something mundane.. but it’s getting too vile, too violent, too ridiculous. My husband pared back his social media use greatly, maybe I should do the same. I just don’t need the negativity.
So, who do you have in the war of Free Speech vs Social Media Cruelty?