When I was in college, I was actually excited to get into the real world and have meaningful and intellectual conversations with other people. I was interested in exchanging what I’d learned for others’ opinions, stated with evidence of course. What I didn’t realize is how as soon as someone doesn’t have something meaningful to add to the conversation, they will continuously bash you and put you down for having an opinion at all. Now of course I knew this happened, especially online, I guess I just didn’t realize that the general masses are incapable of participating in a meaningful conversation.
As part of a social experiment, I left a very opinionated comment on Elite Daily’s Facebook post about President Obama on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night. I want it to be clear that I am not an Obama-hater, I was simply stating my opinion in which that instead of focusing on being a celebrity and well-liked, Obama should put more of an effort into protecting our country and making it a better place.
You can watch the video here.
My comment immediately received negative replies and the biggest argument to my statement was that “Obama is human and deserves time off.” Yes, of course, I know this, I even stated that in response. I know the president cannot be Superman, but he should be a good leader. Other than this one argument, the rest of the replies to my comment were attacking me and had nothing to do with the president.
I got called out (over Facebook, lol), and was asked to “show Obama how it’s done.” I got called an “Obama-hater,” and I made it clear that I am in the “support-for-a-better-country-crowd.” I was teased about “having so much time at work to comment on this post.” I got accused of taking advantage of my “smoke breaks and vacation time.” And last but not least, I was called a “troll.” I mean really? I’m pretty full of sunshine if you ask me.
Among all of these negative comments, I received about two comments in support. I was very disappointed. Disappointed because people were more interested in putting me down and telling me to fix the problem, instead of stating their views on current events and ways we as a country can make these issues better.
This led me to think about our society’s use of media. Yes, it’s fun to be able to immediately take and post pictures, keep in touch with friends and family who are not near you, update our online status at any time of day, etc. But we as a society take advantage of the opportunity to make a change. Too often, I find myself complaining about celebrities not taking advantage of their voice, when we as normal people in society should be doing the same. Posts such as this open up a public forum and invite people to add to the conversation. It is important to share your views and opinions, and important to make your voice heard. Maybe someone could even have something to say that could have the potential to instill positive change?!
But no, instead we use these forums and posts to hate on, tease, bully, and spread negativity to those who either have an opinion that is different or something that strays from their own beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, the growth of media is a beautiful thing, and free speech was given to us as a foundation of this country. Instead of using it for hate, we should make use of the widespread platforms we are given to invoke change.