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Just Keep Scrolling
This year has been filled with controversial and divisive news. People are quick to share their opinions (well informed or not) all over social media. I have even seen people say anyone who doesn’t agree with them should just unfriend them. Nothing anybody says is going to change anyone’s opinion when there’s so much emotion involved.
I have engaged in my share of heated online discussions. They probably haven’t advanced my cause, but they have cost me friendships. They have cost me peace. That price is too high. I’m trying to take the sage advice of my husband, who says, “You don’t have to go to every fight you’re invited to.”
Whether it’s politics, GMOs, animal welfare, or any number of hot-button topics, farmers and ranchers often find themselves in the middle of the fray, battling an uneducated or misinformed public. When you feel like you’re under attack, fighting back is a natural reaction, but sometimes it’s best to just offer information (or not) and walk away. You don’t have to defend GMOs on your know-it-all cousin’s post if it’s not going to change her mind or if it’s just going to stress you out and make Christmas dinner at Grandma’s super uncomfortable.
I do have opinions on current events, and they don’t always mesh with what some friends are saying. Rather than engage in blood-boiling online arguments, I am learning to just keep scrolling. The world will keep turning even if everyone doesn’t know what I think about every issue.
When a friend regularly gets under my skin on Facebook, unfollowing or muting them for 30 days (i.e., leading up to an election), makes my feed a happier place.
I am also carefully curating my connections on other platforms. I want my Instagram feed to be full of travel photos, faith quotes, and cute dogs, so those are the types of accounts I follow. On Twitter, I focus on agriculture and sports.
In 2019, I will continue to clear the mental clutter from my social media feeds and my life, and I encourage you to do the same. Internal peace is more important than proving I’m right or making sure everyone knows where I stand on current events. As Proverbs 20:3 says, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”