On my mind

paperboy

I hesitate on my post title, because I think, “does anyone really care?” Yes, I know people care.  People care too much. Not about what am saying, but they care too much about what everyone is saying. I care too much about what you and them and they are saying. And the problem is that everyone is saying something all of the time. And with an election going on, one like we’ve never seen before, opinions and over-sharing is at an all time high.

I’m not here to talk politics. Except to tell you this is the first election where I’ve been very unsure of who to vote for. I’ve always, with ease, picked a politician in the past and stood by a particular party. Not being sure is on my mind.

paperboy

I hesitate on my post title, because I think, “does anyone really care?” Yes, I know people care. People care too much. Not about what I am saying, but they care too much about what everyone is saying. I care too much about what you and them and they are saying. And the problem is that everyone is saying something all of the time. And with an election going on, one like we’ve never seen before, opinions and over-sharing is at an all time high.

I’m not here to talk politics. Except to tell you this is the first election where I’ve been very unsure of who to vote for. I’ve always, with ease, picked a politician in the past and stood by a particular party. Not being sure is on my mind.

Yesterday when I voted I was stopped at the polling place to sign a petition and I felt pressured.  I didn’t feel the man explained his point well, and I didn’t want to put my name on anything.  More information thrown at me.  Decide.  Sign.  Now.  When I exited the polling place the other petitioner stopped me (aware that I didn’t sign on my way in) and tried to pressure me.  Then I was firm in my, “no.”

I watched the news last night, as I’m sure many of you did too.  I checked Twitter for the chatter and even logged on Facebook which I’ve pretty much forsaken.

And while I felt undecided about politicians, politics and even petitions I did decide this….it appears to me that both sides are using fear to motivate others to see their point of view.  I’m not talking, specifically, about politicians, I’m talking about everyday people with platforms, big or little, on social media.  Even those that are saying things like, “we must choose love and not fear.”  Essentially fear is still the main motivation.  Because, “If he gets in office, then …..”  “If she gets in office, then…”  Smells like fear to me.

While cruising through the chit chat on Twitter, while watching the winners give their speeches, I was really disheartened by what I was reading.  Things like, “Look at his son’s greasy hair.”  What does that have to do with anything and isn’t that somewhat hateful to judge a person based upon how they style their hair?

What’s on my mind is that everyone is saying too much.  And a lot of things people, politicians, the media, facebook friends, and family are saying are not accurate.  In a day and age where information is instant and comes from anyone with a phone there really is no way to fact check before things go viral.

It’s a complicated world we live in and it seems to me that the definition of media has changed from “news media” to “social media.”  Somewhere between “1990 something” and “2000 now” we have decided to take our news from anyone and everyone.  I wonder if it would be simpler if we just went back to the morning paper and the evening news.  The news was the news and there were editorial pieces.  Today it seems everyone everywhere is writing 140 character editorials all day long and we are lucky to find an un-opinionated factual news piece in the mix.  This is on my mind.

I’ll keep sharing, you’ll keep sharing.  We have a lot on our minds.  Only, I do know that we don’t have to share everything that is on our minds.  Some opinions, conversations, and realizations are meant for conversations that are of the one-on-one variety, not the digital kind.  And some things, as we all know, are better not said at all.

While it appears fear is being used from both sides, I pray it’s not what motivates you or your decisions.  I want to be a person who checks for the facts and is guided by faith and love.

A few links that I’ve actually enjoyed on politics recently:

A humorous clip from Seth Meyers talking about facts and Facebook

+ A beautifully written piece on The Lay of the Land 

+ Input as to why some are surprisingly voting the way they are this election 

 

image: Getty Images

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Responses

  • Lindsey
    Commented on March 16th, 2016 at 7:19pm

    This essay scares me. It reminds me of the quote made following World War Two noting that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to stand by and do nothing. I think this essay discourages critical thought. Fear is real, and encouraging people to ignore it undermines their intelligence and their judgement. I have never in my many years of reading online blogs, commented however tonight, I am unfollowing your blog.

  • Trina
    Commented on March 21st, 2016 at 2:13pm

    Thank you for your comment. I feel I might be misunderstood. I am not advocating silence and certainly not for good people to stand by and doing nothing in the face of evil. Elections are tricky and heated times in our country. It’s not uncommon for friends and family to get in heated discussions and sometimes turn against each other due to their political preference. This essay was merely communicating a frustration in inaccurate information that is shared – people spouting off online all day long, before the facts or full story emerges. It’s their right to say what they wish, just as it is my right. Fear is certainly real and a motivator. That is why we have fight or flight. I’m a person who is well acquainted with fear. I’ve made a lot of major decisions in my life based upon fear and for me, personally, I don’t want to continue to make decisions that way. I want to make sure I have the facts and weigh in on all the options and outcomes. Thank you again for your honest comment.

  • jane
    Commented on March 24th, 2016 at 9:49am

    i appreciate your gentle and sensitive words. i, too, feel like it is difficult to know what to believe this election cycle. my daughter and i were talking yesterday about how there are so many red herrings being thrown around (proud mom moment). :)

    please, keep sharing…and i will keep sharing…but, i agree, “we don’t need to share everything that is on our minds” on the internet.

  • Trina
    Commented on March 29th, 2016 at 10:43pm

    Thank you. It sounds like you are raising a smart young lady! xo . t

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