As I stated in my earlier post this afternoon, early voting began here in Maryland today. Reports are that over 50,000 people took part in this process. (This number came around 5 pm this afternoon. I do not have current totals now that polls are closed)

Statistics show that 7 out of every 10 people have facebook profiles, which brings me to the topic of this post.

During election ‘season’ (meaning the time from about one year prior to an election to election day itself) most of us will see our newsfeeds filled with ridiculous statements regarding any number of politicians. Some of these statements may be 100% true, but most of the time, all you will see is some ‘meme’ thats going around.

This election my feed has been filled with insanity. I decided to put all my political posting friends in their own lists and I only click on that list when I want a ‘good’ debate.

However, most posts that I see from my facebook friends, are not those that inspire a ‘good’ debate. On most posts, I need to give my friends facts – substance. And in the process, some of those debates become quite ugly.

Its almost funny what gets said to me in response to a comment. Ive been called alot of different things. There are some similarities in response to some of my comments, depending on their political affiliation:

  • If I post that I wont be voting for Romney, they claim Ive drank some Obama koolaid.
  • If I post that I wont be voting for Obama, they claim Ive drank some Romney koolaid.
  • If I post that Im thinking about voting 3rd party, they claim Im giving my vote to Obama.

You just cant win when these arguments are made. Those posting these replies already have an idea about the opposition in their minds. Nothing you say can, or will change their minds.

Today, brought a new low in comments tho.

One of the local grassroots volunteers I know, posted some photos from the early voting location here in Carroll County. Among his comments were that the opposition did not have volunteers, that only their signs were present. This was a fact. (Mostly because here in our state democrats outnumber republicans at least 2 to 1) However, someone (who I actually know as well) posted that they couldnt find enough gays to volunteer for their ‘platform’.

This comment made me incredibly angry.

To assume that gay people can only be democrat, or that only democrats support gay issues…..or even to ignore that several conservatives have gay children or other family members ??

Thankfully this other persons comment was removed by the person who posted the photo. They, as well as many other conservatives, do realize, that to win an election as a republican, you NEED democrats to vote for you.

It makes me very angry to see people I used to associate with post hurtful comments regarding the other party and their members.

One such post Ive seen actually said that she didnt know where she went wrong, because her daughter is a liberal.

Are you kidding me? Just because your child doesnt agree with you politically does not mean you went wrong somewhere. It means that your child is their own person with their own thoughts. And thats a GOOD thing, whether you agree with them or not.

I also get angry when I see the total disregard for someone just because they disagree with a statement someone posts.

Even, if for the sake of argument, you act as ‘devils advocate’ attempting to get those people to look at the other side of the argument, its like those people cant see because they have blinders on.

Ive played this devils advocate role on the argument to having identification to vote. Suffice it to say, I was attacked by the conservatives during this ‘debate’.

These types of conversations turn very ugly, very fast. And while some of the people I have these conversations with I know personally, their responses have me shaking my head.

While words do not offend me, I am offended at both sides whose supporters have decided that those who support the ‘other’ side arent too smart. I dont care who the politician is, they arent stupid, they just dont agree with your views on a certain topic. Maybe, they actually DO agree with you, but they happen to have a different party affiliation. In any case, party affiliation does not determine ones stupidity.

People who disagree with you on these hot button issues are not stupid either. They just simply have a different view that you.

***** Just some background information *****

When I became able to vote, I registered as a democrat…..because thats what I was told to do. You see, my family (minus my father who has never voted) were all democrats. They were pretty moderate, but there were some issues that they were extremely conservative about.

Later, I would become a republican. I thought, well, the democrats werent changing anything. I became a pretty active republican, even becoming an alternative member and then locally elected central committee member.

There were definitely some issues I didnt agree with, but I never spoke publicly about them, since I was representing the republican party at the time.

About 4 years ago, I had it with the hard line conservatism that infiltrated the republican party and became a registered Independent (Or Unafilliated).

Im still pretty upset at our ‘two party’ system. Neither one really wants to work with someone across the aisle. Its ludicrous to think that good legislation will fail because it was crafted by someone with either a D or an R behind their name.

We, the American people, lose out over these petty party affiliation fights.

I do not vote for someone based on their affiliation. I take a look at what that candidates platform is, and if applicable, their voting record. Im not a single issue voter.

I have yet to meet or vote for someone I agree with on all issues. I also do not vote for someone in a particular office on issues they will not have an impact on. (i.e. council/commissioner members views on abortion)

I just wish that some of my friends would take a good long look at what they post online regarding politics and stop being so nasty to those who see things differently than they do.

Earlier this week, I was ‘confronted’ (for a lack of a better word) about posts Ive put on facebook, and my responses to other peoples post on facebook. I immediately told that person, that you cannot control what people post there, nor can you say what is or isnt okay to post.  Neither of us posted anything horrible, and I even had a third party check both of our pages just to make sure we werent ‘in the wrong’.

During this conversation, it was said that I am ‘too negative’ in my facebook presence because I post about my journey thru this most recent lupus flare. Granted, I dont pull any punches on any of my social network site, and I have been posting what I, as well as others, have found informative regarding lupus. I also post alot of racing stuff – and NONE of that is negative. I responded with these facts, as well as the fact that this person doesnt know me outside of how she knows me.

Her response was….and I quote ‘and Im glad about that’

Now, Ive been sitting on a draft of this blog all week….that way the tone of this post would not be so……horrified.

First of all, how does anyone know who you are when you only spend a small portion of the day with you? How does someone know anything about you when you do not share ANY common interests?

And whats with the judgemental-ism based on that?

Those who I consider my REAL friends share interests with me, as well as my family. And ya know what? They are actually flabbergasted that ANYONE would call me a negative person. Those people see me smile because I am enjoying the activity Im involved in. Those people are appreciative of my support as well as knowing that even tho I am feeling rough, Ive still ‘shown up’.

I mean, just because you only see me in pain doesnt mean Im negative. Yea, Im struggling. If I vocalize that, it doesnt mean Im being negative. It just means I need a little more TLC.

Yes, that person (as well as some others) has been removed from the privilege of seeing what I post on facebook now.

And for those of you who know where I got the title to this blog post……Im sure you are smiling.

As someone who maintains an active social media presence, there is something that is absolutely making me scratch my head in wonder…..

and that is…..All the outrage at facebook over privacy.

If you are around computers as much as I am, you have probably been online at least a decade….(some of us a couple) In that time, have you ever:

  • commented on a blog
  • posted on a forum / message board
  • ever had an AOL webpage or account
  • chatted on any type of Instant Messenger
  • chatted in a chat room / chatted using IRC clients
  • chatted via yahoo chat room hosted online
  • have a Classmates / Reunion website profile
  • sold items on ebay / craigslist
  • posted on freecycle type site
  • posted a comment on an online newspaper article
  • had a youtube account
  • had a hulu / netflix account
  • had a blog / tumbler account
  • had a flicker / photo sharing account
  • had a myspace / facebook account
  • had a twitter / friendfeed account
  • had a linkedin profile
  • have a skype account

Im sure you get the drift by now – so I will stop.

Im sure most of us have been told that if you are going to post or say something, make sure its something you are fine with the entire world knowing. This is the exact rule of what goes on the internet. If you dont want people knowing it, dont post it.

With every profile / account you make, the more information about you the internet knows.

So if you dont want the world knowing that you watch Rocky Horror Picture Show and do the Time Warp at the drop of a hat, dont put it out there. Unfortunately (for my friends) they know this information first hand…..

So, before you go deleting your facebook account (which-by the way-doesnt solve your internet privacy woes) think about how much of you is on the internet already. If you get real, you will realize why I scratch my head now.

Now……..do you still want to delete your facebook account?

If you click on the title, you will be able to read the AP article regarding Facebook memorializing those who have passed.

And here is my take: I think Facebook as well as other sites, have really stepped up to the plate. For those of us who are irked when we see those “Friend Suggestions” it is hard for some when they show those who have recently passed.

To have a page memorialized, you must contact facebook and send them obituary – as well as other information to insure your not just messing around or playing a joke on someone.

As someone who has lost 3 friends who were also linked thru myspace, facebook and twitter – I can say this is absolutely wonderful news.