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Social media is actually dividing us

POSTED: July 24, 2017 1:30 p.m.
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Lewis Levine covers public safety and the occasional president for the Courier and area TV stations. He’s retired Army, too.

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Judging by what I read on Facebook and other social media, this country is headed for trouble.

Now, before I get called out on my own Facebook posting, I too am guilty of stirring the pot.

But I have since curtailed my activities after realizing my opinion is no more important than those I attempted to antagonize.

And here’s why I’m writing this: It’s no secret our nation is divided, perhaps not as bad as the 19th Century, but none the less we are a divided nation.

Is social media to blame?

I think sites that allow postings to go unchecked have to share some of the blame. The amount of erroneous information making the rounds on social media is actually mind boggling, and too often taken as fact. I have even fallen prey to some of postings I’ve read, thinking the information was accurate until those who are smarter than me set me straight.

Family feuds have been started over differences of opinions, and friends have known for years have actually unfriended me on Facebook for having a different opinion. This actually doesn’t bother me. It’s less dribble I have to filter to get to what does interest me.

Yet just imagine if social media were around during the Civil War, or early 1860’s.

Lincoln may not have been elected president. Maybe the War between the States would have never happened and the 13th amendment which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, would have never been passed. What if social media was around during the Civil War? Reconstruction may never have taken place because of the climate which prevailed in the nation at the time.

We might well have stayed a divided nation, with a border between north and south, the way we’re currently divided into blue and red states.

There is no easy fix to this situation.

People have opinions and many will defend them to the end. As long as disrespect to each other because of opposing views runs rampant, we will continue to be a divided nation.

Maybe it’s time we took a pause, checked the facts and not be so quick to jump down someone’s throat for not expressing the same ideas we hold dear.

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