Where Is The United In United States Of America?

Where Is The United In United States Of America?

Social media is tearing us apart.
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The 2016 election has been a historical one, to say the least. This election was special to me because it was the first presidential election that I and many of my generation had the privilege to vote in. I am proud to say that I did cast a vote in this election and exercised my right as an American to do so. However, unlike many of my friends, family and acquaintances, I do not post my political views on social media. It's a personal choice that I stand by and I do not think that I will ever post my views on social media. Don't get me wrong, I am not bashing those who do post their opinions on social media, I am simply saying that I personally do not see the draw in posting things like this on social media. I do not believe that's what it was meant to do.

The main reason that I do not post what I think in regards to politics and the recent election is because I don't think that anyone really cares about my opinion. There have been many studies done on sharing political opinions on social media and very rarely did they have an effect on how the individual looked at the candidate. There are so many reporters and news agencies that can twist things that both candidates have said and turn it into something that did not start out the way they are portraying it. If I want to know where my candidate stands, I go directly to the source: their website. It gives me all of the information I need to know where they stand on certain issues and if I see something that a writer claims that they did, I look more in depth. You cannot take things at simply face value, you need to do your own research to develop an educated opinion on politics. Social media has never changed my decision on who I voted for this election year.

Also, I know what I think, and I know what my friends and family members think. Sometimes, these opinions are starkly opposite. Depending on the people, this can lead to large disagreements and extreme animosity towards one another, no matter how close you may be. I cannot tell you how many relationships I watched fall apart on the screen of a computer and all I could do was watch. Why would you want to drive the wedge between you and someone you love or have a relationship with, whatever it may be? Since when have we as the American people put politics over our own personal lives? I cannot bear the thought of losing touch with someone over something as trivial as a Facebook post that went wrong and I don't understand how others can either. I cannot stress enough that people are more than their political opinions, so why make a judgement on this one factor?

I respect each and every person who is willing to share their opinion, and if that is different than mine, so be it. What I do not respect is the people who cannot agree to disagree or speak about the difference of opinion in a calm manner. Politics is not worth losing your family and friends over, so why greaten the chance?

Cover Image Credit: Eric Hultgren

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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