Daniel Suddeath

Daniel Suddeath

Aside from the wonderful cat-lover groups I follow, about the only reason I still have any social media accounts is because of my job.

I have to monitor comments on our newspaper's Facebook page (because people post some pretty outlandish comments at times), so I can't go dark and leave the rabbit hole of social media behind.

It seems everything has become a topic for argument and trolling on social media. And all that energy, all those arguments and all of the endless cheap shots and negative comments have accomplished what?

A mass shooting occurs, and five minutes later, it's being politicized on social media.

The U.S. Women's Soccer team wins the World Cup, and before the final whistle, the historic victory is being piggybacked for partisanship.

We're more familiar with hashtags than we are our neighbors.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the power and potential of social media. It can be used to accomplish great things, but we don't really use it for that as much as we do for stirring up strife and cutting down our fellow man. I've certainly been guilty of doing just that.

Are we really this shallow as humans, or is this the product of social media and the masses we reach by pushing a few buttons (literally and figuratively)? Our Facebook debates and Twitter rants show an ugly, spoiled side of America.

We're up in arms over Colin Kaepernick, or what a member of the women's soccer team said about President Donald Trump, but we turn our heads to the problems that plague our society the most.

We can't be bothered to show up and vote, but we don't pass on the chance to comment on how bad everything is in our community, our state and our country.

Imagine if we were as angry over the murders and acts of violence that occur daily in our state and nation as we are a commercial over tennis shoes. Conversely, what if we held each other as accountable for our actions, or lack thereof, as we do politicians, police officers and athletes?

What if we transformed the negative energy we pass along when we throw barbs at one another on social media into finding common ground?

Why are we so wrapped up in divisive issues that are often subjective when we could be focusing on improving our communities?

Here's another question: Why do you think we have an illegal immigration problem? If our country was as bad as we often make it out to be, would people be risking death to come here?

Most of us are spoiled. No, not just rich people. Not just the elites and the politicians and the professional athletes whose cups runneth over. We are spoiled by opportunity. We've taken it for granted. We believe we are owed but we are actually in debt to those who came before us and sacrificed much more than us.

Our country is a great country. It doesn't need to be made great again and it doesn't need to be shamed because of past mistakes. It needs a lot less apathy and much more energy.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves and the world we live in, but let's not forget how blessed we are. And if you don't have anything positive to post about on Facebook, I have some cat photos I'll be happy to send you.

Suddeath is the editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. His column appears in the Thursday edition and at various times throughout the week. Reach him at 270-678-5171, or by email at dsuddeath@glasgowdailytimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @DsuddeathGDT.

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