This is a guest post by my sister, Becky Kiser. Becky is a long time blogger and creator of Sacred Holidays. I think you will find great value in her perspective when it comes to our current political climate.
It's already heating up and we are just in the primaries. Each year we all get so very riled up. Social media has made it all too easy to have very loud opinions about every single issue. This year, let's all enjoy it instead. How does that sound?
Here are 7 easy tips we could all follow to make for a much more enjoyable election season:
#1: Save most topics for the table. We have become a culture that discusses too many things publicly that belong around a table with trusted friends or family. Before you click post, ask yourself, "Would this be better said to my friend/spouse/parents/roommate?" If the answer is yes, don't post it.
#2: Remember all those that read what you post-- know your entire audience. Not just all those that comment and like and heart all the things you say that are perfectly in line with your bubble's ideologies. Remember the woman who has had an abortion, your cousin who just came out as a homosexual last summer, your high school buddy who is living on welfare, your co-worker who lost a child in the war, and your college buddy who is alive because of the healthcare they now have. You don't know everyone's story. We forget them because they don't often comment or like our things, but they still see them. What do your words say to them?
#3: Will what you are about to post really change anyone's mind? Or another way to say it, is it really necessary to post? All of our words have currency. Save yours for when you really want to make an impact. If you post and re-share 10 times a day about your politician of choice or party point, then you will likely be unfriended by many people this next year.
#4: You should care that you get unfriended. Many might repsond to the previous point, "Well, so what? Let them unfriend me." This attitude shows the condition of your heart, not the ignorance of theirs. Let's get out of our camps. We can accomplish SO MUCH MORE together. Tolerance isn't an allowance of an action that is wrong, but an allowance of many opinions.
#5: It's OK to discuss if you really listen as much as you talk. There is nothing wrong with a healthy conversation (key word: healthy). You can be gracious and kind, yet still firm on the things that matter. Remember that a discussion is just that a back and forth of conversation. It is talking and listening, then listening some more.
#6: Do not start those discussions on someone else's posts. Please, don't hyjack your friends newsfeed by commenting on everything that you disagree with. If you really feel so strongly about what they posted, send them a direct message or better yet, ask them to coffee.
#7: When needed utilize that magic "Unfriend" button, or for those kind hearts out there, you have a lovely button called "Unfollow" which simply removes them from your feed without removing them as a friend. Go and press it as many times as you need, there is not guilt in it.
I hope you enjoy a more peaceful political season!