Social media is creating a further divide in society. I have watched as many people I know have expressed their opinions on many levels, including COVID-19 and the protests regarding George Floyd. I watch as people fling insults when their ideas are shown to be wrong in the minds of others. I have watched as both the health crisis and the protests have created more division and more hate than good.
I grew up in this small community as many of us have. Most of my friends are here, many people I consider great people live here, and I have watched as childhood schoolmates have gone on to become public officials here.
What do we all have in common? The love for this small town. The community that reminds us that when your car breaks down on the side of the road, that you can count on many to stop and see if you are OK. The community that reminds us that when times get rough, we band together and count on one another to assist when we feel that times seem hopeless. The community that has rod runs, concerts, a local fair, great police, tree lighting ceremonies and where all are welcomed. The community that I have bragged about time and time again with my friends as I lived in Utah for many years.
Social media is destroying our community from the inside. The insults, the lust for a fight, the endless need to offer opposing views just to get a response. What happened to the Battle Ground we once knew? Why sling insults at one another? Why allow hatred and differing views divide us? Why not allow each person to share their views, digest it and reply with facts and information that support those views?
Social media has created instant gratification in life. A way for people to sling insults and hatred, feel a little buyer’s remorse and then delete it as if it had not occurred. It also gives a place where we can hear one another and digest our differences, while making a positive example of those actions. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
I miss the days where my doors would remain unlocked at night. I miss the days where neighbors looked out for one another no matter what their religious affiliation, political standing, or amount of money one person had in their pocket compared to another.
We all need to get back to that. We need to listen to one another, learn from one another, and use our uniqueness to strengthen one another.
I would ask that each of us look past our differences. We are each unique. Remember not one person on the entire planet agrees on everything. There will always be a differing opinion than yours or mine. There will always be a crisis of some sort in society. Together, we can make the world a better place if we open our ears to one another and respond in kind.