I posted this on Facebook this morning and I’m going to leave it here as well. It concerns the avalanche of factually-inaccurate memes that circulate around social media and why I’m sick of it.
I’ve tried to stay far, far away from this gun control debate but there’s one point that I can’t stay quiet about any longer (and it’s not about the gun laws themselves).
Many memes and “shares” claim we’re one step away from the days of Hitler if we change our laws. Here’s an article CITING HISTORIANS about why that is utter crap.
The reason this particular false meme bugs me is because I’m sick to death of the fear-mongering and hysteria surrounding so many of the things we’re debating as a society. It’s hard to have civilized discourse and, y’know, solve problems, when a group’s first line of defense is to play the fear card or, in some cases, bully people (“If you don’t share this, you don’t have a heart.”)
I see it in everything from public safety or policy debates to animal welfare concerns to attempts to raise awareness about health issues, and I’m tired of it. If you want me to hear your side of things or listen to your elevator pitch about what concerns you, stick with facts. I’m more than willing to have my mind changed or be enlightened about things I misunderstand, but don’t come at me waving fear flags or insinuating there’s something wrong with me if I don’t capitulate. I simply won’t listen.
We are in a technologically wonderful age. We have the ability to reach people in ways we never could before and in numbers that go far beyond what we could in the past. Facebook is an excellent medium for sharing ideas but it’s easy to click, share, and like without giving it any real thought. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that gal.
If you want to sway me, talk to me. Tell me what YOU think. Throwing things at me designed to scare or intimidate won’t make me hear you and it certainly won’t make me take up the torch for your cause.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t be bullied, coerced, intimidated, or made to feel bad about not reacting the way someone wants me to. I’ve faced too much legitimately odious behavior from people in recent years to have a scare tactic on Facebook even get on my to-do list of Things I Should Consider.
I’m perfectly happy to have a civil conversation about nearly anything and am always open to the possibility of having my mind changed. But when the conversation begins at DEFCON 4, I’m out. I simply don’t respond to manipulation, threats, or anger. If that’s your approach, I’m sorry to disappoint you but, Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.