Dear Facebook Community

Dear Facebook Community

I am trying to piece together how and when the platform of Facebook drastically changed. Almost a decade ago, I created my Facebook account. At the age of 14, Facebook 'was a place to have public conversations on the internet via the Facebook wall posts, see how people "really felt" and vice versa by partaking in the infamous "Like for a TBH." Facebook was a social media platform to display a plethora of awkward selfies and, of course, to "poke" your crush. The more subtle, but still all the while frisky move if you weren't ready to slide into one's DMs or *gasp* engage in face-to-face communication.

With time, Facebook transformed into a community in which everyone updated their social circle of all things concerning life achievements, traveling endeavors, education, engagements, babies, and one of the 12 different Facebook relationship status options. Oh yes, and the occasional outlet to vent about your day or share song lyrics that you feel spiritually relates to you or just posting a quick passive-aggressive shoutout.

Now, Facebook has transformed into a never-ending family holiday dinner news feed of sorts full of passive-aggressive commentary and sometimes just downright aggressive banter about politics and controversial issues because I guess suddenly everyone has their government official on speed dial, so they are IN THE KNOW.

There are a few seldom family members sharing light-hearted posts and funny memes to try to lessen some tension. There are also heavy engagements about utterly ridiculous issues that aren't real issues, but I guess people would rather find offense in Adam Levine's nipples than something worthy of engagement. Or a holiday tune that is older than the invention of cassette tapes rather than trying to find anything else to do with their life.

It is great that everyone has access to voice their opinion and start a conversation…to stimulate our brains and engage in a respectful manner and broaden our perspectives. Unfortunately, many can not have a simple conversation. It turns into a cyber world war of hateful memes and made-up statistics and even some gossip-fueled rebuttals adorned with "yo mama" attacks.

Granted, many Facebook users will scroll past your highly opinionated post without a great hindrance to the rest of their day and respect your voice. However, there is the exception for the few individuals who spend an obscene amount of time just lurking. You know the ones that you always see that consistently have the little green circle by their name (you know who you are) that wait and scroll and wait and scroll until….AH-HA! A CONTROVERSIAL POST IS SHARED!!!!!! Amidst the metaphorical half chub arising with a slight eye twitch from all the eye strain from excessive exposure to an electronic screen…they commence replying.

Typically responses are inclusive of the most ignorant of commentary from an individual who lacks proper knowledge or true factual evidence on the subject matter at hand. This individual is usually uninformed on how to execute a grammatically correct sentence. *At this point, we all have one particular Facebook user that just popped in your head*

It's great that we are all privileged enough to have an opinion and exercise that right. HOWEVER, if you only spout inaccurate, hateful, ignorant nonsense, that privilege should be revoked. I think a valid solution is to utilize the endless hours we spent in school and implement the skills we learned. If you make a Facebook post with your opinion inclusive of a statistic, it should be mandatory that you cite that small piece of information. Go all out, dress it up with a little in-text citation, APA format. If you REALLY want to put your dick on the table, hit 'em with a scholarly, peer-reviewed article.

If you are going to post about something, make sure you know what in the fresh hell you are talking about. Really, that is all I am asking. I know a lot of us want to veer away from reading as it can seriously damage our ignorance, but I strongly recommend it. Whatever your position is on a topic that you feel strongly about, instead of shaming and exuding comments derived from hate, try sharing things pertaining to your belief about whatever is happening that positively alludes to your stance. Share stories of others or yourself affected by a particular issue that sheds light on your point of view. If you disagree with someone, instead of saying: "You're wrong and your mother is a whore." try saying, "Hi Susie, I respect your views and thank you for sharing them. I feel differently because…"

PLEASE take into consideration that people have different experiences that have led them to decisions and shaped values and opinions. They might be different than yours and that is… *drumroll*… OK.

We can create an environment that allows us to have uncomfortable conversations, engage in debates, and positively co-exist as a society. To do that, we must learn to be open-minded and listen as well as understand that many issues in life are not simple, right vs. wrong. It is complicated. I encourage everyone to learn, to be more accepting, and simply agree to disagree instead of being so self-righteous that you spout hateful and judgmental remarks about certain issues in our society. I do not care who you are or who you think you are. No one EVER has the right to attack, label, judge, stereotype, or bully someone or a group of people. No one ever has the green light to wish ill will on any human being or animal. Period.

You do NOT know what someone is dealing with physically, emotionally, or what someone's unique circumstance is, so I am unsure of what deep-rooted issues gave some of you the imaginary complex of "The Almighty" that you can wish death and hate on HUMAN BEINGS and INNOCENT ANIMALS. You need to simmer down, put the electronic device down, pour a glass of something tall 'n strong, and locate the Namaste.