Everyone is living a double life.
We all live the life we normally live (commuting to work, watching bad television, snoozing our alarm) and the one we live on social media (partying with our friends, taking beautiful pictures of scenic landscapes, living the quote unquote life.)
However, as the double life implies, we are rarely our true selves in one life or the other. We can’t be two people at once, after all. And to be extremely blunt, no one is perfect, with or without photoshop on their profile pictures.
So, why, pray tell, do I see post after post that goes something like this:
IF YOU BELIEVE __________, THEN I DON’T WANT TO KNOW YOU.
IF YOU LOVE THE (band, actor/actress, movie, album, etc.) THEN YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US OR BE FRIENDS WITH US.
Why? Why is this a thing?
First of all, not everyone has to have the same preference or opinion as you. Do you really want someone to think the exact same way as you all of the time?
But secondly, why wouldn’t you allow someone the opportunity to learn and educate themselves? If you are going to say that you will not associate with people who aren’t feminists for example, you’re limiting yourself and that person as well. What if he or she suddenly understands what it is to be a feminist after talking to you? Or, what if you are shown a different way of thinking because they have a different opinion about feminism in general? A conversation with this person doesn’t mean you have to change what you believe, it just means you are showing another person some respect (which we all need to give a little more of.)
In the end, you’re just making a reverse stereotype. Instead of applying a generality to a group of people, you are singling out one characteristic and avoiding anyone who has it. Why? Why can’t we look at a person as a whole, and say, well he likes Taylor Swift (which I don’t like) but we both love guacamole (which is great.) We all take the good with the bad in our daily life, so why not with people?
Now, granted, I can understand if you are struggling to reconcile deep differences with a person. It may be hard to see eye to eye with a neo-Nazi, for example. But you have something in common with everyone: you are both human. We all are.
And we need to start focusing on that more. We need to concentrate on the fact that we are all writing our own story and we are all just trying to get home. We all have likes and dislikes and loathings and lovings. So, tell me. Why do we go on social media and think, suddenly, that since our opinion has an audience, it is somehow valid and better than everyone else’s? (As I write on a blog emblazoned with my own name…)
The point is, can we step away from social media, with our fiery social (media) justice, and give people a chance to educate themselves before we completely denounce them as ignorant? We have the entire Internet, but it is up to us to seek out the answers and help each other along the way.