Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit social media eh?
On Friday 24th June I awoke early, checked the EU referendum result and upon seeing what had happened, I got out of bed, made some breakfast and tuned into the news to see the reactions and conversations as they unfolded. Ordinarily I would have been glued to social media all day too but, I’m on a self-imposed summer break from Twitter and Facebook.
However, throughout the day a few folks, including Cherith, were sharing with me some of the things that people were saying on social media. Celebrities, politicians, people we know…
People were shocked, devastated, terrified, angry, confused, heart-broken… and, some of course were happy with the result.
Perhaps many of the emotions were expressed with good reason but, by the time we went out for lunch later in the day I was a little nervous about discussing the topic in public.
Why so nervous?
I won’t mince words here. Many remain supporters who were disappointed by the result have been and continue to be; Reactionary. Hysterical. Patronising. Vicious. Hypocritical. Delusional. Rude. Offensive. Cruel. Self-entitled… accusing leave voters of legitimising racism and facism… blah blah. It’s been grim.
And I have no doubt that if the vote had went the other way, many leave supporters would have behaved exactly the same.
It makes me nervous to watch people demand tolerance and equality then reject tolerance and equality in such a vicious outpouring of verbal abuse, all because they didn’t get what they wanted. The lack of tolerance is not nearly as frightening as the lack of understanding of what the word tolerance actually means. It makes me nervous to see people leap onto social media and, with poorly considered and expressed opinions, completely ostracize others who share different opinions on this issue. In short, it makes me nervous to see so many apparently reasonable and decent people behave so badly and, just not know when to shut up!
Social media continues to be a place where a sense of outrage is heightened and exaggerated at a frightening rate. Last weeks events and the fall-out have only confirmed this more for me.
And Christian friends?
I thought we believed in something that transcends all of the potential effects of an EU referendum… good or bad. Many Christians have stated their desire to love our EU neighbours by voting to remain. When your local neighbours voted to leave and you chose to verbally attack them for being stupid, uneducated and racist… well, I have no words for this hypocrisy. That’s only one of many issues I could raise. It’s been embarrassing. You’re embarrassing.
My heart has been heavy all weekend. I know others who feel the same.
And so, it looks like I picked the wrong week to quit social media?
Na. I’m glad to be missing it right now.