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HENSLEY: Social media during troubled times

By Judith Hensley
Contributing writer

Scrolling through social media posts used to be so encouraging.

People posted photos of sweet children and grandchildren, parents, grandparents and longtime spouses that gave us something to smile about. Pictures of pets, flower gardens, inspirational photos with captions, Bible verses, prayers and good recipes were all there for a daily preview.

Even this simple joy is being derailed.

Social media has become another avenue for attack, political agenda and tracking individual responses. It seems that people are constantly being offended, looking for opportunities to criticize others or post mean things.

I often post or forward things that I believe may put a smile on someone’s face or make their day better. Bears, butterflies, babies, Bible verses, beautiful images and happy birthdays make up the bulk of what I want to see or share.

This apparently isn’t radical enough for some of the people who troll through this social media platform.

Clicking “like” or “forwarding” is an invitation to be attacked by friends and strangers.

How is it that some people sincerely believe they should have the freedom to say whatever they please, support what suits their own beliefs, spread their agenda and indoctrination for certain political ideologies, but withhold that right from the rest of us? If equality is what these folks are after, it must be equality for all or it doesn’t work at all.

I will not back down from my personal convictions, which are based on biblical values, are conservative and my right to them constitutionally insured.

It is never my goal to deliberately offend anyone.  I’ve been attacked for clicking “like” for a quote from a Duck Dynasty personality, for reposting a link to an article about full-term abortions and for clicking “like” on a post about the constitutional rights of the Second Amendment.

I’ve also been blasted for saying I’ve seen a black panther more than once in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.

What I don’t understand is why people who don’t like or agree with what another person posts don’t just keep scrolling until they find something they do like and agree with before they make a comment.

I might also ask myself why I let these negative interactions bother me?

It seems to me that our country is experiencing a nervous breakdown.  Too many things don’t make sense right now

Many of those spying on social media activity have a deliberate agenda in mind. Somewhere, I believe, there are professionals who track our preferences — likes, dislikes and comments. By our interactions and comments made on social media, we are leaving footprints that can be documented and traced for specific reasons that are not in our best interest as individuals.

Social media has been a lifeline for some during this season of being shut in and social distancing. Telephone calls have numbered fewer and fewer as social media use increases. It is much faster to click on “like” and make a one-sentence comment than to pick up the telephone and dial someone. Yet, a simple positive comment can brighten someone’s day.

Social media is only a tool, but as with all tools, some use it for good and some not so good.

Can’t we make ourselves look for the good around us and talk about that? Can’t we get back to posting uplifting thoughts instead of attacking others?

Social media can be such an uplifting, encouraging avenue for communicating with family and friends. During these troubled times, maybe we can all try a little harder to use this tool to make the world a better place.

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