RANT: Social Media & Political Posts – A New Revolution

First, since I’m calling this a “rant” let me start with my obligatory disclaimer: I’m tired, I’m fussy and I can’t take a well-deserved nap.  My body is trying to send signals to close my eyes and flood my system with serotonin in a subconscious rebellion to force me into sleep.  Yet, I must remain vigilant against these waves of yawns.  I will readily sacrifice my mood to win this battle and while I’m tempted to raise a white sheet over my body in surrender while nuzzling down into a pillow, I will remain alert on this eye-burning battlefield.

Second, you should know that like you I have political views that are based on my education, the environment I grew up in, my personal experience, my job, my gender and my own biases.  I recognize that your views might be different.

That’s the nice bit.

Let’s start with there are certain things I hate about Facebook and Twitter and Texts and really anything that lets me see every single thought you decide to share as it bubbles up to your brain.  (Realize that when I say “you” I don’t mean “you” per se.  You’re a lovely person.  I’m sure we’d get along just fine. For this blog’s purpose “you” means “those few FB ‘friends’ of mine who got me started today” )  Let me be even more specific and honest.  I hate your political posts.  I do.  Here’s why:

You are posting to every single person you “friended”.  Not everyone shares your beliefs.

Ok, that’s not true.  We agree:

1)      Your kids are great and cute.

2)      Your vacation looks awesome.

3)      I’m envious of those pictures of your toes in Wales.  Mine are still on my messy carpet.

4)      Your family is awesome.

5)      That picture made me smile and long to hang out with you/be where you were.

6)      I’m super excited that you achieved that thing you/your family/your kids wanted – well deserved!!

7)      Your pets are the best.

8)      I love that song, too.

9)      That video with the cat – HYSTERICAL!

Where we quickly go off rails is over those three taboo subjects your parents should have drilled into your head are not ok to discuss at the dinner table: money, religion and politics.  It seems that by and large we manage to avoid the first two, but there’s always that special someone who always has to step into politics.

The Rant

I don’t mind the political posts even if the views are different from my own, but here’s one big fat caveat: people who refuse to fact check.  These are the folks who read something inflammatory on another “friends” page and they decide to share it while packing in their own bit of ignorant vitriol. ALL FOR SOMETHING THAT ISN’T TRUE.

I don’t know if I have a keen Snopes sense for stupidity or if it’s that I’m so highly cynical I don’t trust that kid I met in high school to interpret any form of statistical data accurately (or most words) much less my own family and I tend to like them.  My Spidey sense gets especially tingly if the linked article points to a blog and not the actual source of the bogus statistics. And maybe it’s because I like poking myself with a sharp stick when I’m sleepy and fussy that I read their posts knowing they will make me angry enough that I will end up looking up the information or maybe it’s that there are some people out there that I think “hey, another stupid post, I bet they got it wrong this time, too! Let’s take a look,” but off I go. They never disappoint, though.  In less than two minutes I can nearly always find the real information.  An amount of time they could have also taken before hitting that “Share” button; however, they were high on their own bile apparently and couldn’t be bothered. This isn’t everyone; this is that special willfully ignorant few on my feed.  Either they’ve made a choice not to be honest, or it’s plain stupidity and their lifelong goal is to look pretty stupid in front of hundreds of people and wave it like a big proud stupid flag.  Mission accomplished.Stupid Flag

You don’t have to be on the same side of the political spectrum as me.  You don’t have to believe in the same ideals that I do nor place the same value on them.  However, if you’re going to share a post whose sole purpose is to be sensational or provocative, then GET IT RIGHT.  In fact, get it right every time.  Getting it wrong EVERY TIME makes me think you’re either doing it on purpose OR you’re not particularly bright.  Which is fine, because that inspires me to believe that if I create my own semi-official looking website, rip off enough official looking charts from Forbes, skew the facts just enough so that things sound plausible, that I can convince you an evil socialist unicorn union is masterminding the downfall of the economy – that soon all the manticores will be spilling over our borders stealing our coveted orchard-picking day labor jobs that we were all vying for and selkies are listening into our calls  – which we all remember is not permitted under the Patriot Act at all.  That’s a fact.  An act that was signed into law under who again? That’s right, Titania.  And the great thing is, in this fast food world, I know you won’t check, because you know there’s one truth which is: if it’s sensational enough, it’s gotta be true! So go on you absurd lurid little monkey – rise up against the unicorns, the manticores, the selkies and even Titania.  I look forward to leading your ignorant little revolution and preying on your weak mindedness. Bless your hearts.

Now before I take my well-deserved nap, I will go post something about cats or maybe a shot of my toes outside and “Like” some photos. Afterwards I’ll get to crafting the new website where we can do fun things like blame the poor and maybe some minorities!  I’ll make the pretty and misleading charts!  You just bring that giant blank brain of yours.