This isn't another political rant -- it's more of a reflection on said rants and the social media. As some of you know, I'm on Facebook and that's one of the places where I find and repost many links to articles that reflect my point of view.
Facebook is a different sort of beast than blogging. Those of you who are frequent commenters here feel like real friends -- often because we read each other's blogs. I know that some of you don't enjoy talking politics, some do. I suspect that most of us have similar views but I know there are some exceptions. But that's true with my real life friends too-- we just agree to disagree.
It's different on Facebook. Over there I have around 500 friends -- some asked to be my friend because they like my books, some because they like my posts, some, I sispect, just because they were trying to build a big friends list. Some of them are blog friends or real life friends, but there are many I know next to nothing about -- I rarely ask anyone to be my friend unless I know them pretty well, but I accept pretty much any request for friendship (except for a few creepy guys.)
I was surprised when I posted a link to an article about a bill that's being considered in Congress (House of Representatives) -- a bill that would, among other things, allow doctors and hospitals to "exercise their conscience" by letting pregnant women facing emergency medical conditions die rather than performing an abortion.
There were over sixty comments -- some about the bill and some from folks who are passionately anti-abortion. (But none from anyone who actually agreed with letting women die, thank goodness.
There were comments from a woman who had an abortion many years ago and a link to her essay about coming to terms with this. There were comments from a man who was adopted because his birth mother couldn't keep him, but chose to continue the pregnancy. There were long, well-reasoned statements, passionate statements, disagreements, but the tone remained surprisingly civil.
This, I think , is where social media can shine. I like to hear other opinions -- as long no one YELLS or calls names.
Another author who is a FB 'friend' posed the question on her page: 'Why would an author post political opinions in the public forum? Isn't that a good way to lose readers?'
Well, maybe. But I'd rather speak my mind (mostly -- I do hold back when sometimes I'd like to yell and call names.)
It's a fascinating time in which we live.