Social Media Is A Catalyst For Sensitive America

Social Media Is A Catalyst For Sensitive America

We are a strong nation, so why are we allowing emotion through social media run this country?
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As change in America approaches, it's about time that we stop spreading sensitivity through the internet.

Considering the way millions reacted after the election there will be an outpour of complaints, judgments and, who knows, maybe more flag burnings and riots. Americans will exercise their rights to free speech and “peaceful” protest as they please. And that’s fine. If they’re willing to degrade our nation because they don't get their way, that’s their prerogative.

However, the problem is this: social media channels are making it worse. Facebook and Twitter have become some of the most influential news providers. I use the word "news" lightly because our country's very sensitive way of thinking frames the way this news is created.

Facebook's new algorithm will stoke this flame by only boosting articles based on the amount of "likes" and "shares" they receive. Seeing that it's easier for people to connect and engage through complaints, Facebook, and other social media channels that adopt a similar algorithm, will soon be the strongest (if they aren't already) catalyst for a more sensitive America.

A Strong Nation Should Not Be Coddled

Since when do our emotions and the way we feel personally have anything to do with the success of our country? Why are we so scared to hurt each other's feelings, and why have we become so afraid of ugly truths? We can't say or do anything these days without hurting someone's feelings. We promote All Lives Matter, and African Americans call it racist. We don't want to pay for the welfare of illegal immigrants or non-working, capable citizens, and that's wrong and hateful according to the masses. It's time to stand up, people. It's time to rise. Dust yourself off, grow a little backbone, and start making a positive mark on our amazing country.

Sensitive America is a major problem. And quite frankly, it’s going to get worse. As we move forward and Donald Trump’s inauguration and 4 years of presidency approach, there’s going to be a lot of whining, specifically on social media. People are going to get mad (again) and spread negativity all over the internet. And guess what? It gets nothing done, nor does it promote change. It’s pointless. Yet, close-minded and opinionated people will come together because social media promotes connectivity between the like-minded, a disconnect between opposing opinions. So get ready for the sharing of more flag burning and rioting videos, articles calling for another re-count, and posts about people threatening to leave the country. Get ready for sensitive America to take over social media, once again.

Education Became Emotional

Even colleges are giving in to a more sensitive America. Universities all over the country canceled classes for “mourning” students after Trump won the election. I’m sorry, but I that was absolutely ridiculous. Taking away time for education to mourn the election of a new president is just unacceptable. If a student felt that they were too distraught to attend class, that’s perfectly fine. Let them waste their time and money. But officially canceling classes promoted immaturity and disrespect for our President Elect. These stories went viral all over Facebook and Twitter. Some agreed with the Universities' choices and some did not. The problem with this is that those who agreed promoted the ludicrous reasoning behind taking away educational opportunities for students who wanted to learn. This ideal was then spread through sharing, "likes," and commenting.

It's like a domino effect. Social media should never be a platform to promote coddling emotions over education.

It Might Be Unconventional, But Wikileaks Subverts Culture of Sensitivity

I’m sure many remember the issue between Hillary Clinton and Julian Assange. In case anyone does not know, Assange’s WikiLeaks published about 30,322 emails from Clinton’s private server. Clinton then threatened Assange and Wikileaks on the grounds that he was aiding Trump in the election. Here's what America should take away from Assange: he wasn't in favor of either candidate. That being said, no emotions were involved in the publishing of these emails. He published the truth, regardless of how he or anyone else felt about it. He didn't care if he upset anybody with this information, he cared that the truth was known. This is what we should be doing on social media. Instead of getting upset about the truth, embrace it. Rise to the occasion. Assange saw an opportunity to explore fact, and he took it. We have got to stop letting our emotions drive the way we share information. I'll bet you Clinton did some whining over the release of those emails, but guess what? Tears and complaints didn't change a thing for her, so spreading them all over social media won't do a thing for sensitive America either.

What We Need To Do

It’s easy. We need to grow some thicker skin. As a nation, regardless of what is going on around us, we must rise to every occasion. We can’t hide behind our hurt feelings and emotions. There is no way to please every single person in America. That’s quite obvious.But we need to use social media for what it's meant for: to connect. It's not meant for crying over spilled milk and looking for people to cry with us. So as we grow closer to change, it's important to spread positivity through our profiles. Social media doesn't have to be a catalyst for sensitive America if we, one: stop being so sensitive, and two: don't let it.
Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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