Things we don’t talk about

As I see rants on Facebook and Tumblr the likes and reblogs are there, but I often hear deafening silence. The silence of people who don't want to talk about it. The silence of people who have been told that their opinions aren't right or are “bad.”

When people are afraid of having honest discourse, it becomes a problem. We lose some of our freedom.

Do you feel free? When someone rants and you disagree, do you respond? Or do you stay quiet because you are afraid of people unfollowing you? Of stirring up a controversy of hatred and vile spewing forth from all parties? Of being unable to go to sleep because you're afraid of someone posting something else on your page?

I've been there and it isn't fun. But what is less fun is a society where people who rant think they are right because a minority of people like and reshare their post so many times that they become convinced they are the majority.
When we have people who are “liked” so many times that they forget that facebook intentionally left off the “dislike” button and that if there was one, the dislikes would outweigh the likes exponentially. Facebook only wanted the like button so we'd “like” being on Facebook where everyone loves us and we only get positive reinforcement. Well some things aren't good and aren't nice and should be stood against.

I've been in a situation before where I politely stayed quiet just to keep the peace and then when it went too far, it was too late to do anything about it.
Like people who refuse to go to the doctor with a cold and end up with life threatening pneumonia.

We need to be able to talk professionally about issues that are important. We need people who value ethics above popularity. Isn't that what is wrong with Washington – the power of the poll? Just because a lot of people believe something doesn't mean they are right.

Is it really that important for people to “like” you? Do you honestly think that it being liked is worth it? Abraham Lincoln was a great man. Winston Churchill was too. They weren't liked by many but they left a legacy because they spoke the hard words that needed to be said and mobilized a population to do the right thing.

Where are the heroes now? Those who are willing to sacrifice personal popularity to say what needs to be said.

Having rights and being right are two different things.

I do find the ranting hate speech repugnant. I'm a Christian and honored to share that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. If you unfollow me because I just said that, then I'm sorry that you surround yourself just with people like you. I follow and converse with atheists and people of most types. When you surround yourself with people just like you – you are in danger of becoming unable to see the world from views other than your own.

But I see danger in the silence. In many ways, social media feels polarizing and making it harder to bring people together. Often solutions are in the middle ground where the level headed people meet but fewer and fewer people are willing to tread the rapidly emptying middle-ground.

Never assume all of your “friends” believe what you believe. Just because they don't say something doesn't mean they agree with you. They might just want to be nice. They might just want to be careful or be quiet.

Don't go running through my Facebook stream to see who I'm talking about because not one situation started this. I think the rantings of the political season where people write things — both Republicans and Democrats — implying that everyone who is an idiot that doesn't think like them is obnoxious and bothersome. Show me a perfect man (except for Jesus Christ) and I'll show you a liar. They don't exist.

Where are those who can disagree respectfully? Who can converse professionally? Who can disagree about certain points without parting ways as friends? I have a dear friend who doesn't celebrate Christmas. It is her choice. I love her dearly. She is my friend. I admit that I pray for her.

When you get ready to rant realize that not everyone agrees with you but many of your friends aren't going to say anything. Just because people like your rant doesn't mean you have a license to do it all the time and it doesn't mean that even a majority of us like it at all.

A broken watch is right twice a day.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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