Last week was an interesting journey through the internet. I saw several instances where the best and the worst of social media came together. From private letters becoming public, to photobombing, to people trying to normalize prejudice, it was a sea of interesting situations. It all brought home a very important lesson. Your opinion of things is based on your perspective.
I got called a lettuce picker on a CNN comments board last week. The issue at hand involved a 26-year-old job applicant publishing a “private” email sent to her by a job board creator. I put private inside quotes because we all know nothing you write on the internet is private, and yet this communications, job board creator thought it would be ok for her to insult the job applicant. I understand that many people do not want to be approached on LinkedIn. They think that it is different from Facebook and only people they know should approach them. I believe they are missing the entire point of expanding their network, and at the same time, I understand their reservations. All she had to do was ignore the invite from the younger applicant.
Instead, she went into this entire rant about Millenials being inconsiderate and assuming they would get everything handed to them. As I read the comments, I saw one where the person was defending the rude letter. I commented under him that although I understood the sentiment, her answer was uncalled for. I got called a lettuce picker. End of intelligent conversation. I could have gotten offended and called him something else. I decided to point out that I did not resort to personal attacks when answering his comment. That I was his worst nightmare, Hispanic, woman, college graduate, working, paying taxes. He called me a lettuce picker again. I guess some people don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation, so I decided not to answer any more comments.
Then I saw this letter written by this Mormon mother complaining about the fact that the movie Frozen was created to defend the rights of gays to get married. This woman was using her religion to justify an attack on gays while explaining that the movie was all about normalizing their behavior. The funniest part was when she decided to mark the passages on the song Let it Go where there were obvious references to the gay lifestyle. The song is sang by a girl and one of the lines is I am a queen. She is the queen. That is a gay reference according to this lady.
I started thinking to myself: two incidents where middle-aged white women have some kind of ax to grind about something they don’t fully understand. I guess our perspectives are always based on our own existence.
I don’t know if the lady that wrote the first letter ever got any help with finding a job. I suspect it was such a long time ago that she forgot how good it is to have someone along the way to guide you. I imagine the Mormon mother is like many Christians, who take the Bible to mean what they want it to mean and not exactly what it says. And finally, I have to think that the idiot on the CNN board is just a bigot.
Why do I think all these things? Because they are my opinions, based on my own experience. I am a Hispanic, middle-aged woman, who was raised Catholic but never drank the kool aid. Don’t take me wrong, I am still Catholic. Yet when I was told that Jesus told us to love our brothers as we love ourselves, I did not go around questioning those brothers or sisters that act different from me. I decided to love everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or who they sleep with at night.
I was also raised by a very successful business man, who taught me to help anyone in need. I remember one time we were walking down the street and he saw a homeless man begging for money. He did not give him money, he got him food. He said to me that at least he knew the guy would get one nice meal today. That was the way my dad saw life. He went to church, he helped whoever needed it and he enjoys his life. So if I am ever in a position to help, I am more than happy to do it.
When I go online, I always know somebody is watching. I also know that the image I want to leave on the internet is a positive one. That is why I don’t argue with people on the internet or leave obscene language. I’m also very clear that you can build something great and tear it down in five minutes with the wrong post, so I don’t.
These are all my perspectives on life. What are yours? Leave a comment below.