Let me prepare you, when you share your views, values or ideas on social media you are in danger of persecution by your friends and followers. Be prepared to experience hateful and angry responses, but please don’t hesitate to speak your mind. & Does Persecution Thrive?
During the 1960’s, liberals marched to protest against social injustice; racial and sexual discrimination, as well as, the Vietnam War. The brave men and women made great strides in the area of freedom of speech. Since they fought so hard for freedom of speech I was shocked when I shared my thoughts and views and I was verbally attacked. So, I stopped sharing anything that wasn’t a “safe topic or form of expression” like jokes, funny You Tube videos, or basic personal information.
Fear of Persecution Hinders Debate
I thought social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn were to share personal information, as well as, ideas and healthy respectful debate. Recent articles (Supplemental Information Links below) show that people are hesitant to share opinions on social media when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. So, it was no surprise when elections sparked heated discussions full of speech that discouraged debate and encouraged argument.
Before I stopped sharing my political views, I learned what some people thought of me, because they told me and their angry and hateful comments hurt. They wanted argument, not discussion. My initial reaction was to retaliate with my own hateful comments, but eventually I asked myself what would that accomplish. It would only fan the flames. So, I said and did nothing.
USA Democracy – Different Ideas & Debate Made America Great
As a result of the 2008 election, my political opinions destroyed a friendship of over thirty years. I am a fiscal conservative and a Republican. So, I supported McCain/Palin. Therefore friends that supported Obama/Biden disagreed. They were democrats and agreed with their party line. Consequently I was prejudiced. I supported McCain and not Obama, but that had nothing to do with Obama’s ethnic race. Out of my fear of persecution I stopped posting opinions on controversial topics and avoided debate.
Persecution Due to Political Party
In the recent election I supported the Republican candidates and for president, Donald Trump. I had many reasons I didn’t support Hillary Clinton. Somehow I was anti woman even though I am a woman (I still don’t understand how that’s even possible.). Furthermore Trump disagreed with the federal government funding Planned Parenthood, because it conducts abortions. My friend disagreed, because they provide women affordable healthcare. Both are true, but I am Pro Life.
Freedom of Speech
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint is Freedom of speech. Since I believe in the First Amendment and I refuse to be silent. While I state my opinion I will be careful to write posts free of value judgments or negative language with regard to people that disagree with me. I will keep in mind freedom of speech means that I have the right to give an opinion, but people that don’t agree also have the right of free speech and that means even hurtful speech. Also, before I react to an angry comment, I will wait 24 hours and pray for them and God’s will before I post.
Supplemental Information Links
Is Facebook silencing YOUR politics? Social media sites discourage us from voicing our opinions for fear of being mocked
Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’
Why Your Opinion Matters & Why You Shouldn’t Fear Having One
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Voice Your Opinion On Social Media