It occurs to me that today our society is more divided than ever before. I believe this comes from less and less physical, social interaction with each other. So-called “Social” media has replaced face-to-face conversations. It has also led to a tremendous lack of civility and respect for fellow human beings.
Hiding behind a keyboard, sometimes not even knowing the person you have decided to respond to, and inevitably leads to disrespect, sometimes vitriol and demeaning of people we don’t even know. Often, this is due to a different opinion than ours. We seem to forget that the First Amendment to the Constitution is freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and because you don’t agree with it, is not an excuse to disrespect them or downgrade them, when you wouldn’t do it if you were face-to-face.
Unfortunately, this has led to a general lack of respect for anyone who disagrees with you. Imagine if you will, you are invited to a company dinner party, and you are seated next to a colleague with whom you work. This colleague makes a statement about politics, religion, science, etc. , not in a threatening manner, just voicing his opinion. Would you then stand up in the middle of the dinner and assaulted him with vitriol and hate speech? Of course not, why? Because you are face-to-face with him, and others are watching you. Unfortunately, on social media, there are no such constraints. I’m reminded of what my grandfather told me a long time ago,” Son, one of the most important things you’ll ever learn, is you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to, everyone is entitled to their opinion even if you disagree, leave that invitation alone.” We lose respect for others and any sense of civility and common decency hiding behind that keyboard. If we ever want to solve the country’s problems, we need to start acting like civil human beings having civil discourse over them and treat each other with respect. Here’s hoping we can do that before it’s too late.