I am of the firm belief that the vast majority of people around the world, regardless of religion or lack thereof, race, geography, sexual identity, food preference, etc. are loving people and truly care for their fellow inhabitants of this earth.
That being said, I also firmly believe that it is often those with the most extreme viewpoints that are the loudest in the media, and can drown out all the wonderful things that are happening in the world.
Would you believe me if I said that those of us, the vast majority in the middle, actually are part of the problem, that we actively promote hate? It is true. Here’s how.
Visualize a hateful post on social media as a tree. When it is posted, it is going to reach largely those closely associated with the person posted or those with like minds and interests. Each of those original people it reaches is a branch on the tree of that story. Now lets say a more moderate acquaintance (We’ll call them Person 2) of one of those recipients sees what the original recipient has liked and takes a look. Person 2 is slightly taken aback, and comments on the original post with the best of intentions, trying to sway the opinion of their friend, no harm done, right? Here is where we are helping the hate. As soon as person 2 commented, that post is now visible to all his friends; another couple of hundred branches sprout, a couple of hundred branches that you gave life to. Ouch.
- If, instead, Person 2 had ignored the post and moved on, that branch would have stopped with him.
- If, instead, Person 2 had chosen to block creator of that message (see this post for how to do that), you remove one of the branches off of their tree of hate.
- If, instead, Person 2 had chosen to block all messages from their acquaintance (see this post for how to do that) , it would prune branches off of numerous trees of hate going forward.
Just to be clear, I am not against dissenting opinions or having discussions with different viewpoints, that can be healthy and is needed. Just be aware that any time you engage with somebody on social media, you are giving renewed life and traction to their point of view, whether you agree with it or not.
Some might say that ignoring it isn’t the problem, and I fully agree. I still see the hate, I just choose not go give it life.
The good news in all of this? It works both ways.
We are never going to argue somebody into loving someone else. Love has to be shown, modeled, lived. When you like an uplifting item, a post crafted out of love, an example of caring, posts about stewardship of the planet, you are spreading your message of love. When those people who are just out to rain on people’s parade start engaging with those positive posts, even if they are against them, they are helping to sprout branches on the tree of love and compassion, whether they like it or not as well.
In closing, I believe that this isn’t something we can be passive about. I think that if we aren’t actively promoting compassion, promoting love, promoting care and nurturing regardless of the arena, then we are giving life to those that only seek to destroy.
For a perfect example of what I am discussing here, view this companion post on controlling your social message.
Thank you, and thank you in advance for making a difference. You take away their voice, you take away their message.
Feel free to download this image and post as your social media profile pic to help spread the message.