There’s a lot being banked on today.
That’s the one thought which keeps streaming through my brain again and again.
It is after all the power of politics and leaders, the power which finds people either hopeful or clinging to despair.
Personally, I’m just simply indifferent.
Before the letters of the day’s historical significance start streaming in, please understand I get it. This day is a big day on many fronts. For those confused or perhaps seeking inhabitance under a rock. I’m speaking of the inauguration.
Historically much will happen today (Jan. 20), as well as in the days beyond, but I can’t help but wonder will it be enough?
The beauty of elections and transfer of power from one party to the next is the feeling of “hope” which seems to take over said party. For the first time that I can recall, however, in my adult life I can’t help but wonder, again, is it enough?
Never in my lifetime have I seen so much anger and divide between our country. Case in point, earlier this month as I watched the embarrassment and disaster unfold at the Capitol building I couldn’t help but think, oh how our adversaries are eating this up.
In short, America is at war, with itself and the hostility seems to be increasing in a time of hope? I’m honestly just so confused.
Mostly my confusion stems from the extreme power which has been given to social media forums and their power over so many lives, as well as opinions.
Disagree? Not a worry, there does remain a small portion who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid and have abstained from the dark horse of the ignorance rabbit hole and to you I give kudos.
More people than not however access social media of some form on the daily and many of those same people use these forums as their news source.
Without going too far into politics, I will say this; in my personal opinion one of the biggest missteps made by 45 was not allowing his handlers to manage his Twitter. People are paid for these positions for a reason and as we all know once thoughts are out there, there’s no turning back. “Delete” does not remove the screen shots taken and shared, the list goes on.
Yet this problem we’re currently trying to dig our way out of is bigger than 45 and Twitter, the tool of social media has polarized us in such a way that I wonder if we can ever return to being truly civilized with one another.
Sound a bit too Debbie Downer? The concern is real and as the months and years have unfolded I see the problem becoming more and more apparent.
A decade (or so) ago when I first dipped my foot into the social media pool it was primarily a feed full of pets, babies, plates of food and inspirational quotes. Granted this may be a bit over simplified but it truly was a “highlight reel” of mostly happiness. Politics, celebrity news and breaking news would slip in on occasion yet everyone (mostly) remained civil. Heck, I can actually recall an instance where I disagreed with something and shared my thoughts. Rather than have the whole feed blow up with attack, someone silenced one venomous comment by simply stating all thoughts and perspectives were welcomed and appreciated.
Fast forward to today and we hear words like “censored” and “Facebook jail”? Really.
Think about that a minute, we have given a forum so much power that if we share something which “they” deem inaccurate, it’s removed. If we share something “they” deem offensive or inappropriate … off to “Facebook jail.”
My mind is honestly boggled as I type this and 10 years ago I can say I never would have seen this coming.
In short and cutting to the chase my simplest of opinions is we are circling the drain and that won’t be reversed by hope.
So how do we fix it you ask? Well I’m a girl of simplicity who happens to have a gift (or so I was once told) for stating the obvious.
We need to use our tools, we need to regain respect and we need to place as much care and concern for one another as we do for social media rights.
After all in the words and wisdom of Michael J. Fox, “Hope is just a dream without a plan.”
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.