Politics, mob rule and social media—what I’ve learned

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So in the last few weeks I’ve been paying attention to politics on Facebook. I’d been very intentionally ignoring it up til then because we were miles away from the actual election and I don’t need to decide what I believe in since I already know.

So one day, a few weeks ago, I started to actually look at the political stuff in my feed, scan the articles, read some of the comments and move on. It was intense. I mean, I’ve been a political junkie on and off for many years but things were more intense than I’d seen them since people in Florida were counting chads.

As is my habit, I made a general statement/observation about a certain set of supporters of a certain candidate. To me it was light, somewhat humorous and meant to illicit a laugh. Instead I was attacked. This not only stunned me but made me reexamine my statement to see if it’d been really inflammatory. Nope. Still seemed relatively mild to me. And then from there, I was hooked and frankly until the last couple of days, haven’t come up for air.

So after my foray into the depths of the political trenches I’ve learned the following:

  1. Some of your friends are willing to toss you aside for a stranger who makes promises they can’t keep.
  2. People can become so invested in someone they are willing to call you every and any name in the book including skank, whore, bitch, and worse.
  3. The anonymity of the Internet emboldens people to spew hatred, vitriol and insanity everywhere they travel.
  4. Some people will believe absolutely anything despite a mountain of facts that categorically disprove that belief.
  5. There is no low too low for some people.
  6. Logic often has no place in politics and frequently is the first victim to be thrown under the bus.
  7. Some people are more than happy to ruin others’ lives simply because the do not agree with them.
  8. Free speech is relegated, apparently, to only the chosen few.
  9. Fairness, objectivity, and truth is a matter of opinion.
  10. You cannot convince an angry person of anything.
  11. To some, winning justifies any tactic, no matter how abhorrent, despicable and dirty.
  12. Many people don’t actually do any research on the candidate they champion and when that is pointed out, you better be wearing full body armor.
  13. There are a lot of angry people out there who are misdirecting their anger at total strangers on the Internet.
  14. I long for the days when cute cat videos were the most popular thing on the Internet.
  15. Apparently anybody can run for president these days and people will treat them like they know what they’re talking about. Hey – maybe I should run.
  16. I trust my dog more than most politicians.
  17. Going to a political rally is a lot more dangerous than it used to be.
  18. Orange has become a really popular color – not with me, I look terrible in orange.
  19. According to the polls, the presumed candidates for the November election are two of the most disapproved of people in America.
  20. So far, nobody has attacked any candidates’ pets, but give it time.

How about you? Enjoying the current political happenings? Have you been trolled, flamed, attacked or is it just a barrel of laughs as far as your concerned? Learned anything or is just politics as usual? Feel free to observe, vent or yammer in the comments.

 

Peace out, Writer Chick

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15 thoughts on “Politics, mob rule and social media—what I’ve learned

  1. I am staying out of it! ☺️ For the exact reasons that you wrote about. Even when people at work talk about it I just don’t say anything. Politics to me is all about lies and those that follow with closed eyes and believe everything. I don’t even read about it, I don’t watch the news about it, I’m just not interested at all in what is happening.

    Maybe I should be, because my future and my kids future is part of this all, but…getting involved with ignorant people is worse than being run over by a car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand how you feel. It’s very volatile and often turns out badly, especially if trying to ‘discuss’ on the Internet.

      Unfortunately, as you say, your future and your kid’s future will be affected by whomever is elected. I feel the same way. Which is one of the reasons why I do my own research and try to make decisions based on where each person stands and if their record shows they can/will follow through.

      But I think my days of trying to reason with others about politics on the Internet are over. It’s a real jungle out there.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hell Venterajj,

      You make a good point – many other countries have a much more difficult task regarding their leaders. Many don’t even get to vote at all. I hope that things improve for you, in your country. ❤

      Like

  2. Other than liking something on occasion I steer clear of politics on Facebook. Even with likes, I’m careful. It is a fascinating year for politics, but embarrassing if you’re a U.S citizen. Whatever research to find the truth (always defined by which lens is looking) it will be dismissed if it doesn’t jibe with narratives closely held by the other side of things. No one’s mind changes. It’s emotional rather than logical. I include myself in the problem, so I try not to go there. The vicious name calling and turning every discussion to politics in order to point to the evil of the other side is disheartening. It will make for a round of interesting books in the coming years. Courses will be taught on this year’s debacle. I hope we all learn something, perhaps just how to calm down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marjorie,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. You’ve made some very astute observations. Social media in particular I think have really added a dynamic to politics that facilitates the ugliness I think. And you’re right political decisions and subsequent argument can be very emotional and based on emotions. Although American politics have always been pretty rough and tumble – at least we usually don’t have brawl on the Senate floor like they have in the House of Lords. I agree, there will be books written about this particular election cycle, probably several. And after all is said and done perhaps even a couple of professional victims will be born who will play the talk show circuit for a while.
      As to all of us learning how to just calm down – that may take a while, but it’s certainly something to hope for.

      Have a great week.

      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One reaction I’ve had is that there is something absurd in this apparat desire for authoritarian demagogues. One has to wonder, what makes these supporters so sure that they would be the winners in a more repressive society? Seems clear to be all too common longing for a golden age that never was.
    Regards, Sam/atcn

    Like

    1. Hi Sam,

      I’ve had similar thoughts – one wonders if everyone these days is looking for a father figure or something. Common sense tells us that one doesn’t get more freedom through more repression, but I’d venture to say that many aren’t using common sense in their decision making process. Likely it is an emotional response that causes some to latch onto a person and attribute to them, characteristics they don’t in fact possess. I don’t know if the longing is for a golden age or just some sense of control that has been lost. Hero worship is a risky game, at any rate. Right?

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Sorry, I missed seeing this comment earlier.

      Annie

      Like

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