Political Spirits with Typer (02): Why You Should Stop Sharing (political) Videos

Political spirits is an unscheduled free space for Justin/Typer to talk about how he feels regarding certain controversial or delicate matters. These typically have to do with politics, religion, or some weird mix in between them. He writes about these things because he thinks the world is a bit too immediately hostile or too quick to share their own opinion instead of take the time to let other people talk. It’s the best way he feels he can share his thoughts on certain matters.

Look, I don’t post much on Facebook to begin with but I scroll it once or twice a day and I crawl across Twitter several times a day seeing what’s out there. Unfortunately, what’s out there is sometimes filth. I think the epitome of the filth out there that you see on your local feed is either horrible things people are doing, or worse, horrible summations of things happening out there in video form.

You know exactly what I’m talking about too I’m sure but just to make sure we are all on the same page, I’m just going to take a recent example I saw on my feed. No name dropping here of WHO I saw post it because that’s irrelevant. Someone on my friends list reposted/shared a video showcasing how Hilary Clinton said Trump supporters are irredeemable and deplorable, while at the same time Hilary Clinton supporters are also at times physically attacking Trump supporters. The video showcases essentially…actually I’m not quite sure what it’s showcasing: That politics in the US has turned into a nasty machine now and that there are many vile deplorable people out there? I don’t see how it could be an anti-Hilary video so much as it is an anti-Hilary-supporter video, which sounds cruel and hostile in its own way if you think about it for a few seconds. Regardless, these videos typically have some form of bias to some degree and lean towards supporting one political figure or making another political figure look bad. How well those arguments are constructed vary but let’s say for the sake of argument half the time those arguments are poorly constructed and are actually feeding out bad information to persuade people into thinking something that might not be true.

Just…think about that for a moment. A video that has a 50% chance of sourcing out information that is only partially true or designed hopefully to make you be persuaded towards a certain way of thinking over the other. Maybe it won’t though. But you share the video out anyways on your feed. The risk of posting these videos comes in the text that tends to be displayed on these videos. This part is very important and leads into everything else I’m discussing here tonight so don’t miss this:

If the video does not clearly state or express an opinion (Trump is evil, Hilary is evil, whatever), then when you share it anyone can consider it means anything and that you believe anything.

And that’s a horrible thing for people to misunderstand when we’re putting up videos typically covering political, religious, domestic violent, or race controversies. How does this work? Well, let’s look at that supposed video again.

If I share that video up on my Facebook feed, with no added comments or anything, the people I’m not close with but see me on like a weekly basis might see that video and think I’m a Trump supporter. Or they might think I’m anti-Trump AND Clinton. Or they might think that I liked a video showing Clinton be cruel to a Sanders supporter. Consider some other videos you’ve seen on YOUR Facebook feed. Maybe I even added a comment with the video like, “Horrible!” and the video is a group of people rioting in response to someone of a certain race or color being shot and killed by police officers, or the video is armed security being aggressive to peaceful protesters.

What will you think my opinion of the topic in the video is? If I don’t have a clear answer to that question I’m dealing with people taking my words to mean something else entirely.

Sharing videos designed to persuade towards a certain way of thinking can express that you support the video when in reality your stance on the video might be something different entirely. And since these videos are few in words and may not clearly show how they stand, people could take your sharing of a video to mean so many things you do not want to express.

See, in reality, maybe I wanted people to see that Clinton was being cruel politically, or I wanted to share that I’m just tired of America’s heated political state during election season, or that it’s horrible that peaceful protesters are being attacked by armed security, or that I don’t like it when people riot because aggression solves so little from where I sit. I’m sure many of you are thinking the following:

“Man forget what other people think of you, they don’t matter if they don’t get you.”

But that’s where I think this becomes an even bigger problem. Constantly sharing slanderous or potentially persuasive videos instead of your own original thoughts (or maybe for once: Not saying anything when you have nothing new to bring to the table) just creates a false representation of your character and being. People won’t care to get you and while many think that won’t matter, I think in today’s internet-speed-society even the minute things we share, post, and take the time to re-post onto our feed is a new or expanded way of communicating who we are to people. People who visit my Twitter feed know that I tweet out some daily experiences, share my mixes (which means I like electronic music), and try to converse with some friends on it and talk about video games. They also probably pick up on the fact that I like BT’s music and We Bare Bears (who doesn’t?). And that’s just my feed and the general things I like. If I posted political summary videos (because let’s face it: People are quick to wonder) people would feel uncertain on whether or not I’m slightly racist, a Trump supporter who doesn’t think about what he does, or blind to the fact that Hilary Clinton has political corruption that the whole world seems to know about. To lose out to some genuine cool friends or to sell myself as someone I’m not at all because I shared some videos and people don’t have time to sit down and chat with me for an hour to discuss what I believe is quite an unfortunate thing.

And before you say you’re not victim to acting this way, I’ll be the first to step out and say I also do this. I think everyone does it just because we have less time to spend getting to know people and instead are driving social interactions typically on a micro-level now. I should preface this all this by saying I’m a 24-year old person who more or less follows Baptist religious practices and believes

Jesus is my spiritual savior. Following me? I hope so because it’s vital for what is next.

One of the most vile, disgusting, and personally offensive things I’ve seen on the internet in my life is a video of someone (seemingly) urinating on the Quran, placing it on a pile of wood blocks in a barrel, and then shooting the Quran with a loaded weapon. And this offended stance doesn’t just come from a “Oh jeez, burning books, return of Hitler” defense mechanism. This is a religious person horribly offended by the repeating of intolerance, even when the very thing not being tolerated is the thing I’ve been raised and taught that it is the wrong thing to believe growing up and that it can lead to some pretty awful things (when the reality is that religion in the hands of bad people is just a bad thing).

And here’s where I’ve fallen victim to acting the very way I say people might treat you: That person who had that video shared out on Facebook, they’ve been defriended. They’ve tried to add me back but it’s not going to happen. Unless I meet with that person face to face and am forced into a scenario where I have to sit down and listen to this person’s stance on things, I’m not going to give that person another chance to be known by me. I don’t care and I don’t have time to go out of my way and see where this person sits on things unless God and universe and fate decides i should.

If I were to later hear from that same person and they told me that the video was shared out to show how horrible people can act, I’d be hard pressed to believe it. When we don’t make the message clear, the damage is done. Yes it’s horrible that we as people are quick to judge and so often hard to persuade into thinking that someone has changed. What people think of us actually matters a lot. We have to work with people to get jobs typically, we care about what our significant others think of us once we’re close enough, we care about what our friends think of us to some extent, and unless you’ve disowned your family or have been disowned, you probably care what your family thinks of you. So why does that mindset stop when we regurgitate the videos to our social feeds?

If the video does not clearly state or express an opinion (Trump is evil, Hilary is evil, whatever), then when you share it anyone can consider it means anything and that you believe anything.

And that’s just something I aim to avoid.