News and politics in the social media

One of the great things about the world around us is the expansion of technology. As it grows, so does our access to information about the world around us, good, bad and ugly. It’s also, as we have discovered in recent years, a terrible, terrible thing. Social media, in particular, has shown us what greater access to each other can bring. Political discourse via Facebook has gotten so bad it not only became a meme , but the meme became old in seconds. As a result, I vowed to only post the really funny jokes (about both sides), but they were only read by, like, half my friends were ignoring Facebook until November 7. It was just a toxic place.

In fact, it became so toxic, the media decided to take a break from talking about the presidential election to talk about others talking about the presidential election. CNN, for example, put out this story:

Nearly one-fifth of people admit to blocking, unfriending or hiding someone on social media over political postings, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The biggest gripes: The offending person posted too often about politics, disagreed with others’ updates, or bothered mutual friends with partisan political postings.

Even nearly two weeks afterward, I’ve actually seen an uptick in it. And while I personally don’t care that someone is sharing literally every picture from the group “We Survived Bush, You’ll Survive Obama” in the days following the election, I can see why people are a little annoyed with each other. It’s like people are actually trying to keep the election alive by either throwing it in the losers’ faces or the losers just continuing to cry about it.

Stop it. The Internet is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It is also extremely awful. People, for some reason, become total jerks because they are on the Internet. I, coming from an insurance family, naturally assume it’s a pre-existing condition, and that the Internet, like alcohol, lets people’s true personalities spring forth like a really rude flower in spring.

I am perfectly fine with people sharing their opinions. Hell, I like discussing it with them, but usually in a friendly way, like we’re wearing top hats and monocles and sipping tea in the drawing room (that’s what civilized people do, right???) and we walk away happy. But then, there are some people who cannot pass up the opportunity to call me a bleeding heart liberal and insult me because I think gays should be allowed to marry, and there are those who have literally called me a racist fascist because I didn’t support Barack Obama. That, dearest friends, is the kind of thing we don’t want. The very idea that posting one’s thoughts on the Internet is some sort of intellectual crime is laughable at best (at worst, it sets you up for some great mocking).

The bottom line is we’ve all gotten way too serious about all this. We’re supposed to be on the Internet to look at funny videos and adorable cats. You people, with your politics, are ruining it.

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