By: Chrysa Smith

9451611021_671e426319_z I love adorable animal pictures, wise and clever sayings and seeing photos of friends and relatives who live far away. So that’s generally why I’m on Facebook. But let me give you a word of advice—like with all other conversations with complete strangers, steer clear of politics and religion. It can only get ugly.

I find it interesting that some people are always posting all of their business, political, religious and social views on this social media platform that friends of friends of friends read. But dare offer an alternative view—-and whoa!!!! Watch out.

It recently happened to me. Someone on my list of ‘friends’ is always posting political statements, photos and cartoons. When I recently commented on one, I kid you not, there was a lengthy conversation with all sorts of people who jumped in and attacked my commentary. What was really funny and ironic, is that their view was supposedly tolerance and acceptance—but of only one group of people. Tolerance and acceptance for the opposition? Well that didn’t seem to matter because it was not this person’s opinion.  The conversation went on for over a day and long enough that the page of comments went longer than one screen! And certainly longer than my patience.

While I’m generally a proponent of technology, sometimes I sit and ponder—if phone conversation, letters and face-to-face talk were all the communication routes available to us, would we be as quick to jump the gun? As quick to be insulting? I think maybe not. When we’re confronted with a difference of opinion, face-to-face, we acknowledge a person with a mind, views, feelings. When we’re a cyber person, all of that goes away. And I think that Facebook, like many things, can be turned into a grunting ground for angry people. Bah humbug!

So, I’ve learned a couple of things. Facebook ‘friends’ are sometimes not all so friendly. Commenting on politics and religion is just opening the door for crazies of all kinds. And I should take my own advice and stick to the animal pictures, cute and clever comments, personal transformation images and ooh and aah at babies—both known and unknown. In fact, have you seen the one about the lady with saggy boobs? Before long, they’ll be nuts! OK. Maybe I should pick up a book and read instead. Or start that great American novel. Or do something else of more value—-like paint my nails!