Sunday, April 24, 2016

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em... Your Tongue, That Is....

by Jewel Leann Williams

Ahhh, Facebook.  That melting pot of ideas, that purveyor of Candy Crush and Farmville (do people still play Farmville?)... the app where all of us come together and say terrible things to people we may have known once, but don't anymore, or who are friends of our friends, or friends of their friends, and who just happen to disagree with us on basic, fundamental principles.

Like, is it blue and black or white and gold?
Trump or Cruz or Hillary or Sanders or none or all?
Soccer or football? Or futbol?
Rousey--whiner or role model?
Toilet paper?  Over, or wrong under?
Who gets to go in the ladies' room?

Why, oh why must we argue about everything?

I keep seeing this meme on the Facebook, and I shake my head and smile sheepishly at myself every time:

Wisdom for the ages. I made this myself, by the way. 
Then, I read someone's post about something that ticks me off and I start firing off a witty, sarcastic, acerbic response that is sure to either have them quaking in their boots at the error of their ways and bring them around to the right path again, or, more likely, going to tick them off and inspire them to write their own response. While it will be heartfelt, and maddening, it will not be near as clever as mine, and I'll have to point out their grammatical errors and their logical errors and then they'll point out mine (because any time I tell someone about their grammatical errors, I misspell something) and then we do that a few more times and I keep feeling worse, and worse, and then I want to erase the whole thing but they called me out by name and if I erase my stuff then only their arguments against me, with my name in them, will stand, and I can't have that because even if I feel crappy for getting in an argument, I'm still right and they're still wrong and I don't want the world to think I backed down. Breathe....

Yes, I have a hard time holding my tongue--my fingers--my tongue-fingers? when I get fired up about something.  Righteous anger at its most wicked.

But... should I?   Should you? Should we?

Are we really going to change anyone's mind with a healthy dose of the quick volleys of opinions and often insults that Facebook serves so well?  I propose that we will not.

There are forums for this sort of thing. Blogs, letters to the editor, actual (GASP!!!) in-person discussions!! Poetry, stories, heartfelt videos.... but... sadly, not really Facebook.

So, I skip over that post because I know it's going to push my buttons.
I hide this post from my feed because I know it's going to push someone else's buttons.
I ignore this comment to something I post (or even just delete it) because it's going to start contention.

I try and hold my tongue to serve the greater good--because if no one is really listening, there's no sense screaming until your voice is hoarse. All that does is make people put in earplugs.

1 comment:

  1. Many people don't have a clue when to hold their tongue many of those people I am related to, loss lips may sink ships but they also cause family fights and upsets.



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