January 29, 2014 by Austin McNair
My relaxed morning of a two hour delay, two cups of coffee, and one delicious breakfast sandwich turned ugly when I noticed a Facebook conversation where the President was being compared to Adolf Hitler. I am not a political person. Yet, when the POTUS is being compared to a man who is responsible for the death of over 11 million people, I get angry.
So I rudely commented on the post by writing, “It only took eight posts on [this status] to get to Hitler… Unbelievable. Let me know when Obama begins to commit genocide, then I’ll start listing again to what you have to say.”
I am not sure what I expected. At beginning of any Facebook debate, I always coherence myself into believing that I will be able to drop in and drop out without any problems. Well, that didn’t happen. It never happens that way.
The other guy replied, “That’s the problem right there; you’re head is so far up your ass that you won’t even realize until your on a train.”
What followed was not my finest moment. I mean wow. WOW! Was he serious? Was he freaking serious? How dare he. What he said was fear-mongering, racist, and insensitive. It was propaganda influenced sensationalism.
The subject of the debate changed. My concern wasn’t about President/Hitler comparison anymore. I began name calling instead of arguing. I wanted to point out his irreverence for history. I wanted him to know how short-sighted his comment was. I wanted him to feel stupid.
I still believe his comment was ludicrous, but was I correct in how I handled myself?
No. It was a sinful response.
Here’s the truth about Facebook arguments: People retreat into their belief bunkers, tempers heat up, complicated ideas are over-simplified, and people are hurt.
Facebook arguments are a disservice to our reputations. When we condense arguments into bits a flair on social media, we are bastardizing the true image of who God made us to be. Social media accounts in general are fake versions of ourselves. Nevertheless, I do not want this extension of myself to be known for my antagonistic attitude. Ultimately, if I keep acting this way, those connected with me will make the association that I must be just as fiery in person.
I do not want this association. I want to be known for peace, love, and a mentality that appreciates the depth of every conversation. I believe this positive persona is unachievable on social media when we engage in these kinds of tattered debates.
We intuitively know that our behavior on social media drags us down. Yet, when someone posts something that makes our blood boil, we choose to act ignorantly.
Now that I have cooled down, I feel ashamed that I acted in the way that I did. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a spirited debate, but there is a time and a place to have these conversations.
It’s time for us to all realize that the comment sections on Facebook are never the proper time or place.
I am sorry. I will act more appropriately next time.