The 2016 Election Got the Best of Social Media by Bringing Out the Worst in People

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This morning at 3am I was up feeding Baby B. Election results were finally being officially called and I made the mistake of reading Facebook. It literally made my stomach hurt. Not because it told me who won, CNN had been predicting that for 6 hours by this point…but because of the hurtful words my friends used to fellow voters. The 2016 election got the best of social media by bringing out the worst in people. 

Most people probably won’t read it but I decided to ask my Facebook friends a favor today… to be nice. Now I’m going to share it with you. I don’t know if it’s possible but when I look at my two boys this morning I know I don’t want them to see the amount of hate in the world that I do. I’m not going to tell you who you should have voted for, I’m not going to tell you why you suck that you didn’t vote for the candidate I wanted, I’m not going to call you names because of your values… Today I’m just asking you to stop the hate. 

I Voted in the 2016 Election

Dear Facebook Friends,

Can I ask you a favor today? Can we please be nice to each other?

Last night as I put Little Man to bed (and had a long debate about wearing his Batman costume to sleep) I thought about all of the hate I’ve seen on social over the last 10 weeks. 2am feedings with a newborn result in a lot of time on social media trying to stay awake. To be honest, it’s done nothing but frustrate me… especially knowing that this is the World my kids are growing up in.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the best part about a game 7 of the World Series was the lack of political fighting on Facebook. This is the first time a bulk of a presidential election has played out on social media with all of the candidates having their own accounts. This not only started a lot of the hate but encouraged it to continue among others. It’s truly sad that we are okay with this.

I’ve watched long term friendships dissolve because someone didn’t agree with a blog article someone else shared.

I’ve watched people get in fights on Facebook with their family members because they didn’t agree on candidates.

I’ve seen people bully others because they were offended by a meme.

I’ve seen name calling… from adults I’m supposed to look up to.

Election years are always rough, but this year officially brought out the worst in people. We all are entitled to our own opinions…always have been. Social media has turned our opinions into a battleground. I don’t care if you agree with the results, I sure don’t. In the end it does not give you an excuse to hate each other. It does not give you an excuse to bully someone.

I’m disappointed in what I’ve seen throughout this election year, from the candidates, our future president but most of all from my friends and family.

The irony isn’t lost on me that as I kissed my 3 year old good night he was hugging his Batman mask “just in case he needed it during the night”. To him the bad guys “are mean” and don’t exist in real life. He can be Batman whenever he wants. All he needs is a cape and he can save the day from the people who are mean…the people who bully one another.

This morning when he gets up and puts on his Batman costume he’ll tell me (and everyone else he knows) that I’m his best friend. That he loves me.

Why can’t we all do that? You don’t have to love everyone you meet. You don’t have to tell them you love them every second of the day. Not everyone’s going to be your best friend… that’s impossible. But please, can we stop the hate? Can we put all of the shit that was said to our own friends and family over the last year behind us. Can we for one day love like an innocent 3 year old who doesn’t know what is out there waiting for him in the world?

Next time you feel like fighting on Facebook please stop and realize that all of your friends can read it. Is it worth losing a friend over a blog post? Hell some of your friends may not even be old enough to have voted yesterday. Is hate the example you want set for the future? Is that the way you want everyone else to think about you?

The hate won’t stop at the top of we encourage it from the bottom.

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