For years I have read and pondered philosophy and statements of a philosophical type. I have discovered that some of the best philosophical statements are found on bumper stickers and other signs affixed to cars. You can tell quite a bit about a person by reading statements on their automobiles. I read one while on vacation one time that summed up how this Floridian thought. He stated, “when I retire I am going to move up north and drive slow.” In another state I found this philosophy of life: “If you love someone let them go, if they come back it was love, if they don’t come back, get a gun track them down and shoot them.” It would be nice to know this individual’s life philosophy before you started dating them.
Because of where we are as a nation, I see a loft of political statements on bumper stickers. Some are straight forward, vote for my candidate, some are a little less about being for someone, they are about being against the other candidate.
A few years ago the “baby on board” signs were all the rage, and then the creative types took off with all kind of ‘folks on board’. One that I saw even went so far as to say “mother-in-law in trunk.” Today I can see what organization a person belongs to, and where there sympathies lie. Yet I wonder what causes a person to affix a one dollar bumper sticker on a $40-50,000 truck or car? It must be the same idea as parking $90,000 worth of cars on the driveway and then storing $1200 worth of junk in your garage. I wonder if bumper stickers aren’t a step up from facebook posts? Really nice, calm and respectful people will type blistering tirades on their wall on Facebook. Yet if you were to talk with them over a cup of coffee, you would often time discover they are quite fair and kind and even reasonable. Now, I am in no way saying that some of the hotheads on social media would not be hot heads if they were at your home for a meal. For some anger is the only emotion they seem to be familiar with in all areas of their lives.
Perhaps it is time for some simple rules for social media:
- Be respectful of others
- If you are stating an opinion rather than fact, remember you might be mistaken.
- If you would not say it to someone sitting across a table from you, then…you should not say it on your wall.
- Would you talk to your mother or grandmother, or daughter that way?
- It is okay to ignore things that people write and keep moving.
- It is okay to have an unexpressed thought.
- Do you remember the ‘manners’ speech in grade school? This might be a good time to practice!
- I know this is America and we have a right to free speech. I am asking is facebook the most ideal format to express all of our thoughts?
- Lighten up. I know the world may come to an end soon, but it may not as well
- How about going a week on facebook and saying only nice thiings?
- Okay how about going a day?
- An hour?
- Nothing beats the power of “Kind”
You may not be aware of this fact, but I am quite opinionated? Yet I love the fact that I have both reconnected and stayed connected with a lot of great people on facebook. Many, surprisingly don’t vote the way I do, or go to the church I do, or think the same way I do, yet I am been enriched by their friendship. I know the world is a mess, but is stirring the pot the best way to help? Whether you agree with me or not, I love you and I want you to be my friend, even when you are wrong? Just kidding sort of..