“It’s my FB page, and I’ll do what I want. It’s Mine.”

Even prior to passionate people becoming political pundits with the presidential parade passing by, I saw this phrase popping up on social media outlets. It’s with the election looming that I have noticed it more. Friends, family, and lurkers expressing their right to say what they want in the name of “my page is my page”, sometimes it’s followed up with an “if you don’t like it defriend me”. I have a negative reaction when I read it, especially around so many “friends.”

I have strong opinions, I don’t always articulate my thoughts the way I would like to, I enjoy discussion, I kind of like arguments, from time-to-time I look up from my phone and ask Robin “How can so-and-so even think this way.”, I laugh at jokes about candidates, and I scan my Facebook feed to see who is saying what about who in-between pictures of vacations, kids, postings of inside jokes, and rants about super hero movies. I’m no guru, but I like social media.

I struggle when people declare “myspace” on Facebook, especially when followed up with “leave if you don’t like it”. I understand what the person is trying to, or outright, saying. Basically, I’m done being polite and hiding my thoughts, lets discuss. I commend those friends of mine who do have open, thoughtful, and patrolled discussions. But, they aren’t typically the ones giving a “kiss off” note to the world about their view points.

It’s interesting where we choose to show certain aspects of our lives: There are stories/perspectives in this blog that I’d have a hard time sharing in person. I post pictures on Facebook that people, other than family members, may care less about – they may have even stopped caring. I try to stay out of on-line discussions that ignite my fuse to an emotional response I wouldn’t have in person, and there are statements I wish I would have made differently. I could say “take it or leave it”, but I write/show it because I want you to share in it.

Nothing is solely mine or yours. Everything affects everybody and touches their lives. “What if we do it alone in a padded room?” I feel that we are missed, and therefore still affecting those who know or care about us.

Expression of any kind, even attached with uncontainable qualifiers like “offensive”, is excellent. Express to enlighten and bridge gaps, not to further divide. Express to evoke a response. Yes, shock people. But, drawing a line in the sand and declaring something is yours does nothing to further humanity, instead we get a bunch of head-nodders or emotional arguments with little substance. I’m in no way saying that people shouldn’t say, write, draw, or dance the way they want – please. It’s just not your space, it’s all of ours, and people are affected by who we are.

As adults, writing our sibling’s name on the door with an “X” through it while singing nasty songs about them loud enough to hear through the walls isn’t, well, it just isn’t cool.

Perhaps, something to consider is why we feel compelled to react this way. Have others slammed us for being ourselves? Do we read words in a post without remembering who wrote them, what their tone sounds like in person when playing badminton at family BBQs?

My Papa Sense tells me:

A little ranty, preachy, and uncharacteristic post. I don’t want our kids to feel the need to knowingly isolate themselves because they have been made to feel isolated. I want them to know that the world isn’t against them, differing points of view are important, their words and actions affect others, and if they feel compelled to say “the hell with you” that perhaps they should rephrase their thoughts. Not back down from their beliefs, but respect the fact that we are all walking through this web together.