America will never come together on social media




We were hearing a lot about unity in the days prior to the horrific shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. And in the days following that attack, we’ve heard more of the need to unify since. And we agree that we must find some way to reconnect as Americans.

But we do know that it will not happen on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram. It will not happen in the comment section under this editorial — or any other.

When we feel free to tell millions that we hope that the people who were killed on Sunday were all Trump supporters and that we have no sympathy for them, we show no empathy to each other. There was a time when such comments were shared with a limited number friends and family who might have admonished you for uttering such a thought.

Now it’s to millions.

When we create memes that shows a dead girl with the words “Country” on the top and under the girl the word “Hoe Down,” we show a crass indifference to life. And fail to take into account that a victim’s family may just see such a post.

Would any of us look that girl’s father in the eye and tell that joke? Not likely. Mainly because decorum demands it, but also because that father’s reaction might not be so peaceful.

Now we do these things because we don’t know those victims and it’s much easier to sit behind a computer or a phone and diminish such events because we don’t have to worry about any consequences. But there are. They corrupt our collective souls. And don’t think it’s one side of the political spectrum acting this way.

Too many made disgusting remarks on social media regarding the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando. And it has to stop. So what to do? Well the next time you are having an intense political discussion with a social media “friend,” instead of condemning someone you’ve never met, try meeting that person for coffee. You may find you have more in common than not and they aren’t out to destroy America anymore than you are. It may even humble you and we could all show more humility and less bravado these days.

We have plenty to discuss in the coming days, there will be time for a good honest discussion about gun control. Or on security at motels. But for now, let’s love each other a little more until the emotion wanes and law enforcement has narrowed down motive and how he got so many guns. Those are legitimate discussions to have, ones that can be had with less emotion, more facts and hopefully over coffee or lunch and not on a computer screen.


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