Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus provide people the platform to speak their mind. Most folks moderate their thoughts, keep it casual, witty, and sometimes thought-provoking in an intricate way. I see interesting quotes, funny pictures, clever ways of describing a recently encountered situation.
But there are people (and many of us try this at least a few times) who use these platforms to occasionally make loud, proud, categorical declarations stemming from an ideology of division. Sometimes it’s a political statement that caricatures a popular talking point. Sometimes it’s a social statement of disapproval towards a particular group (e.g. speaking out against gay marriage or even homosexuality in general). Sometimes it’s a statement about positive ideals of loyalty, trust, love, teamwork, etc, concealing underneath an assumed hard division: us versus them.
That last one is a tricky one. I’ve often struggled to understand people when they make bold general statements. Sometimes they come from a good place, and sometimes from a bad place, and most of the time they don’t know themselves which place they come from. I know I’ve done that myself. Some statement like: “I’m surrounding myself with positivity, and keeping all negative people out of my life.” On the face of it, that’s a good thing to do. But when it is stated so simply it somehow puts its meaning in doubt. It’s almost a declaration (subconscious perhaps) that the person is full of negativity and is struggling to get past it. It’s a declaration that the world is full of negative people and we ought to find them and throw them out. I’m deeply uncomfortable with such statements of judgement and division.
It does seem that often times the loudest voices are the ones most plagued by doubt. We see it time and time again with preachers railing against homosexuality only to find out that they eventually give into homosexual desires that they had all along.
This isn’t some evil conspiracy, it’s just human nature.