“Doing what again?” I asked.
“You’re getting into political debates on Facebook.” Oh, shit.
“Are you spying on me?” Marriages are built on trust, buddy.
THIS is exactly why I try to hide everything I do from him so we don’t lose that. Keeping a marriage alive is hard work, no shit.
“I can see it every time you responded to that stupid thread. When are you going to learn?” Um, NEVER.
Ok, so I’m busted. I knew exactly what he meant when he said, “that stupid thread.” After talking a good game in the post I wrote called Facebook Rules, the one where I expertly explain how to successfully navigate the muddy waters of Facebook without losing your mind (and your sanity), I have reverted back to old habits. As always, I am great at doling out the advice, but am not so good about following it myself.
The rule I primarily broke was, Rule #9 – Don’t get all political up in my Facebook grill, yo.
Now the premise of Rule #9 is that it’s important to not encourage or engage in aggressive behavior by writing inflammatory posts or comments regarding political parties and beliefs, etc. There is an implied aspect to Rule #9 as well, that if someone writes something which you find offensive, to walk away from it. That no good can come of it.
I know these things. I have written a primer on it. Yet, like a moth to a flame, a fraternity boy to a drunk sorority girl, Rihanna to Chris Brown – I get pulled towards these posts. Before I know it my fingers are click-clacking away at the keyboard and my jaw is clenched. I’m on fire. On a mission.
A mission to what, I do not know.
So what happened in that thread? I am going to simplify this as much as possible. A Facebook friend who does not support health care reform in the United States and openly opposes “Obamacare” posted some inflammatory things about it. Now, I don’t care if he opposes or believes in health care reform. What drew me to his post were two things.
1) The post was not true
2) He kept calling President Obama, “Hussein.” Which IS Obama’s middle name. But he repeatedly pointed it out – “Hey, from now on I am going to call him Hussein.” or “Watch me now – I can call him Hussein walking backwards!” or “Look, NO hands this time – Hussein!!!”
I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire so I just commented (politely, of course) with a link that explained what he was saying had been fabricated. He responded with another point, which again was not factual, so I once again sent him (yes, calmly. Gosh people) some links from respected news sources (Forbes.com is respected, right?), explaining how those points were NOT true either.
He then grudgingly acknowledged that what he shared was NOT true. However, his dislike for the plan and for the President justified why he felt comfortable sharing the link. He would not delete it because at the end of the day he still hates “Hussein” and liberals and his false post is therefore justified.
And then I said….
Well. Here’s the thing.
I know what I said. But I want to hear what you think I SHOULD have said.
Now, I don’t know care where you stand politically or on the policy in question. It’s not about who you voted for or why. Policy, Shmolicy.
Let’s pretend for a moment that NONE of that matters. Party lines don’t matter. Heck, maybe you are not even American as it seems many more of Masala Chica’s readers seem to be popping up around the globe.
Let go of all prejudices and political affiliations.
In and out.
Did you breathe? Seriously, I need you to be all Zen and shit when you comment.
How do you feel when people pass along fiction as fact? Especially knowingly? Do you think it’s different than when someone spreads misinformation because they haven’t done their research? In this day and age, is it acceptable to not do your homework with all of the information we have at our fingertips?
If fiction IS shared to strengthen your OWN beliefs, do you support it? Do you see it as a necessity to push towards the greater goal of accomplishing what you believe in?
AND last, but certainly not least,
What do YOU hear when someone calls the President of the United States “Hussein”?
If these questions sound simple, I ask you to still answer. I don’t think they are that simple but then again, I think my parents dropped me on my head a few times too many when I was a kid, so that’s not the best indicator.