No breaking news story from me this morning…today I am going to use the blog to rant a little bit about stuff I have seen online recently…specifically on Facebook. I started writing an article yesterday…mostly out of anger about one of the things I will mention below….but in the end I decided not to publish it. I wrote it out of anger and I am happy this morning that I took a step back and decided against it. I am going to mention a few examples of disappointing things I have seen online…but I am not going to mention specific names. Most of my readers will know who I am writing about in the examples and that is good enough for this article.
Here is some of the stuff I noticed recently:
1. An elected official of one party endorsed an candidate / elected official of another party. Now in an election year this is always going to spin up folks. I totally get it and fully expected it. This was the least shocking of my examples…but just due to the volume of feedback…I felt it worth mentioning. There were a lot of comments made…some positive….and MANY negative.
2. A member of our community (who held a political position in Howard County) made a comment that stated he was sorry that an elected official would not seek re-election via a write in campaign. He went on today say some very positive comments about that elected official and it was clear that they are friends. This person made the comments on his personal page (but also made it a public post on his personal page). Then the comments rolled in. There were pictures of signs in his front yard (which is SUPER creepy if you ask me), it was implied that he may be “an untrustworthy spy” and the comment “Plus not all nameofpoliticalparty are actual nameofpoliticalparty apparently. #whatdoyoustandfor?” were made from three elected officials right here in Howard County. There were many other comments but those are the ones I was most shocked by…and was going to be the focus of my article yesterday. If you don’t know the facts of who the individuals involved are…ask around…many know about it now. I was happy to see a good number of local residents stand up for this person in the thread…and that made me feel a little better about the whole thing.
3. A candidate for Howard County Board of Education was attacked in multiple groups. Now the posting was the same in all of the groups. The post was removed in some groups but not in all groups…so go look at the various county school or county related Facebook groups out there and I am betting you will see it. It generated ALOT of comments last night. As of this post I have not seen any information or proof as what was being claimed was true…and without some backup…I am choosing to ignore it. If you are going to make accusations like the one thrown out there…back it up….or I just assume that it is just fake stuff online in order to tear down a candidate for office. The comments were all over the place…but most agreed that without proof of the accusations it would be hard to believe the accusations.
I know this is a pretty small sample size of the things posted online…but these were all local…and watching the comments people are making online is just disappointing. I do understand it is an election season and many of the people that care deeply about elections are amped up to support their candidates and / or their party and that is driving a lot of this stuff…but aren’t we Howard County? Is Choose Civility just a bumper sticker or is it something we strive to do?

Not that long ago…it was easy to say that locally we had certain members of one political party that dominated the negativity on social media…I honestly look at the stuff today and know that is no longer true.
Goodness knows I fall into the trap from time to time and I need to be mindful of this post when I am making comments on certain topics. I know as well as anyone how easy it is to get sucked in to the back and forth on certain topics on social media…and out of frustration or even anger make comments that I shouldn’t. So this post is for me as much as it is for my readers (the fun part of being a blogger…I can write things from you and for me).
While I hope things get better in regards to online posts and comments…I know it probably will not during an election season. I just have to remind myself to sometimes take a breath and walk away when it goes that direction…and focus on the positives and not the negatives…even in an election season like this one we are in right now.
Scott E

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