Social media has run amok. Here we have this propped up soapbox that gives every Joe Blow a voice. It’s never been easier to preach misinformation or subjective Â conjecture, thus we take advantage of any ear watching on any outlet reading and the snowball begins.
Years ago when broadcast was limited, information was delivered via a method similar to marching soldier ants. There was a strict order, checks, and balances and a distinction between activism, education, and news. America had three or four outlets for information dissemination and while they didn’t always get it right, there were consequences for not doing your homework. Suddenly, when the Internet comes along, we all step on the ant pile, because it’s all about who can get the story out first. We participate as opinion and passion run in a thousand different directions with no end in sight.
Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.
We could spend days discussing the many facets society is discussing through social media delivery channels. For this exercise, I’d like to narrow it down to the subjects of conservative politics, hunting, conservation, constitutional activism and similar concepts. Let have a discussion on why and how social media is making us look like idiots.
For the record, I do participate in social media and have my fair share of items and people I follow. I don’t post much other than pictures of my kids or the occasional fish I catch. I purposely stay away from debates regarding politics as I rarely find any middle ground or original thoughts on either side. What I mostly find are posts re-tweeted and shared from Conservative Daily and Media Matters, both of which solely exist to prove the other wrong and in doing so, increase viewership and thus revenue.
I want to talk about you outdoorsman and hunters though. I’m sure the majority fall on the libertarian and/or conservative side, there may be a few democrats out there but statistically, it falls like this:
- 89% of US hunters are male.
- Most of that group are between the ages of 45 and 54 (3.1 million out of 13.7 million total).
- The highest segment at 9% had a household income of 75k to 99k.
- 94% of hunters are white.
(Source: US Census 2012)
If we sum the demographic and research, you will find out that a majority fall to the conservative and/or republican side.
Now, on with how I am going to help all of you. It’s simple really, before you post something, stop and pretend it’s a financial transaction, only instead of a 30 page contract you can’t understand, it’s probably just a link or a thought that you want to share. Now, if you post this golden nugget and you or the source ends up being incorrect, incomplete or misinformed, it’s going to cost you, let us say 20 bucks. You’re going to re-read it now aren’t you? If it’s a story or blog you are sharing, you are probably now going to read the entire blog, not just the headline.
News on the Internets purposely misconstrue headlines in order to get your click. The intention is to tug at your heartstrings or heat you up in order to encourage you to spread the word. If you believe in a cause and you think they are on your side, you’re probably wrong. Remember, we are supposed to be the smart side that takes logic into account when we discuss our values.
Below we see some examples where some hurt our image by making us look incompetent. Why give the other side the ability to claim we have a hayseed education?
Using Organizational Positions to be a Jack-Ass
Seriously? It’s asinine to believe you have any cause when you walk into a place of business with a Bush Master only to take an Instagram photo. In this case, It’s juvenile and harmful to the Open Carry Movement. Read the Texas Constitution and this is disorderly conduct and illegal.
“A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm”.From The Texas Constitution 42.01.8
This is exactly what some of you are doing. There are better more constructive ways to promote the education of the gun laws in Texas, scaring Chili’s customers is not one of them. Stop it.
Making up names for organizations or people you think are against you puts you at or below the curve. It’s a quick escape when you have no ability to confidently debate against a principle the other side holds. Here are some examples:
Lame Stream Media, Douchebag, Libtards, Dumbocrat, Democrap, etc
Misquoting Historical Figures
Just because a bunch of your friends posted a Benjamin Franklin quote about the republic on Facebook does not make it accurate. If you think your former heroes were attributed quoting a prophetic phrase, check first, it’s not hard. There are plenty of accurate quotes to hang on to.
Guilt people into sharing your post.
Mary had cancer and lost her home when she could no longer work. Hunter’s for the Hungry came in to make her day. Share if you agree that cancer is a terrible disease. Most of my friends will, some won’t, you know who you are.Random Facebook
Stop it, Stop it right now. For one, I don’t know if your story is accurate. How dare you try to trick me into sharing a story I may not have time to read in order to make others feel guilty. If you find a touching story that fits in with your agenda, just post the damn thing. I don’t have to share to agree with you. Who doesn’t know cancer is terrible?
Preaching to the Choir
How many liberal democrats are on your friends list? My guess is only a few and you either a: don’t really know them or b: they are really good friends and you can look past your differences. Ask yourself why you want to be such an activist on Social Media? Maybe just to piss off that one guy you don’t know? Rarely do these posts result in intelligent debate. Instead of posting the latest conservative meme image, why not open the discussion up. Ask your friends what they think about a recent bill that passed or a judicial decision. Stop preaching, start educating.
Dear God, take 10 seconds to Google. It’s so easy for someone to post a tear-jerking note from a fallen soldier or how the government will start charging for the internet. All of a sudden, every friend you have is spreading the wordâ€¦ not a one has fact-checked anything. Don’t be one of these people. It takes little to no effort to Google a phrase, most of the time, the hoax will reveal itself on the first link.
There are several other examples, but these are the most popular. If you really care about your position as a conservationist, conservative or constitutional defender, do yourself a favor. Start with Wikipedia, Google and then move to Social Media. In the end, you’ll be smarter, wiser and reflect a more positive image for the rest of us.