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anne mikolay 2012 120These days, when the status quo isn’t good enough, and middle America feels overlooked, bitterness is understandable. Toss volatile fear into the mix, and we wind up with an intolerant “me, myself, and I” mentality that creates dangerous dissension. During the chaotic 2016 election, this was clearly evident on Facebook where Americans revealed ourselves to be a contentious, angry bunch of know-it-alls.

Facebook was meant to bridge the distance between people, connect new and old friends, close the gap between us; however, as always, with the good, we get the bad. During this election, Facebook emerged as a bully’s playground where people freely argued with one another and said hurtful things they would not have dared to utter otherwise. Vulgar memes and commentary regarding Senator Hillary Clinton and President-elect Donald Trump popped up daily in Facebook newsfeeds. Apparently, In the Facebook arena, every person is an expert spouting their own brand of politics often to the detriment of the opposition. There are no consequences in Facebook politics. Humanity and dignity are discarded. Truth falls by the wayside. Propaganda is neatly packaged in bogus news reports, and disrespect is disguised as humor. I like to laugh as much as the next guy, but there’s a big difference between a polished Saturday Night Live parody and disgusting personal insults.

There’s also a big difference between a Facebook posting and truth.The politics of Facebook is misleading. During the last few months, I lost count of the counterfeit news bulletins about the election as well as the pseudo medical experts weighing in on Senator Clinton’s health. Newsflash, folks: personal opinion posted on Facebook is not fact. It does not matter what Megyn Kelly or Bill O’Reilly say if they can’t support their statements with fact; nor does it matter what John or Jane Doe say if they don’t have the credentials to back up their positions. And celebrity endorsements announced on Facebook do not lend credence to any candidate’s position on the issues. I’m not going to sleep any better at night knowing Katy Perry is “fighting for what’s right” with Hillary or that Chachi, aka actor Scott Baio, loves Donald.

The 2016 election was largely hard-won in the battleground of social media. Today, Trump supporters are ecstatic; Clinton supporters are angry, some even crying. But what’s done is done, folks. Whining doesn’t change anything. Neither does pledging to “make America great again”. Let’s be honest. Those who naively believe Donald Trump will easily turn things around are destined to be disappointed. Contrary to popular belief, he has no magic formula; neither does Hillary Clinton. The only thing left to do now is stand together. Let’s move beyond the Clinton vs. Trump debacle, avoid disruptive backlash, and reintroduce dignity and mutual respect. As they say, it is what it is. Put simply, let’s be nice to one another.

I’m the Armchair Critic, and I approved this message.