Responding to reactions on gay marriage

Reactions to the supreme court decision on gay marriage are polarizing and noplace is noisier than social media. We’re seeing people unfriending anyone who takes the opposite side and there is a lot of hate speak out there on both sides of the table and in between.

Social media, particularly Facebook, is a volatile place and people seem to feel that nobody is watching. Not at all true.

It’s common for people to only “friend” people who agree with them, or seem to, and this is a mistake. We need to be able to have intelligent conversations around this and many other topics and a little diversity makes for a well rounded discussion. Open dialog can help people see each other as human beings; slamming the door creates animosity.

As a gay woman with friends and family on both sides of the discussion I see a lot of this and I’d like to tell people three things.

1. Don’t “unfriend” people just because they disagree with you. Social is about dialog and sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to help. Let them have their say. Listen with an open heart to their side of it. Then decide how or IF to respond to it. Remember, people are very excited right now. Disagreeing with you doesn’t make them wrong, or bad. They’re entitled to another viewpoint. Take a breath and listen. The RESPOND rather than reacting.

2. If you use social for business and personal reasons watch your mouth. Whether you like it or not, when you post to a social network it can become public quite easily.

3. Hate is not acceptable under any circumstances. Don’t do it, share it, encourage it. If you see hate speech on any account report it.

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