Religion and Social MediaJust because people have the right to offend others online doesn't mean that they should. People should think before they post.
By: Kelli Maleska, Sibley Scribe
In today’s day and age, people constantly use free speech in many realms of communication, in particular, on social media sites, such as Facebook or twitter. Everybody should be able to state their opinions and express their feelings but in certain cases it may be the better choice to withhold and keep certain things in your head rather than permanently publishing them on the Internet. One place where you should maybe hold back would be on the topic of religion. This is a very touchy topic because many people are very passionate about it. I feel that everybody should be able to say what they want, but on this particular topic there is a very fine line between expressing opinions and attacking other religions.
In religious discussions, there is never a definite answer and on Facebook and twitter everything is permanent. Someone might delete the post it has most likely been seen. Some people might even be offended. I had a personal experience with this issue. A member of my family, who is an atheist, started attacking Christianity along with Judaism and other religions. It was a simple post but when I saw it I felt insulted. I then proceeded to comment on the post my thoughts and concerns. He became defensive and tried to make me think that what he did was right. I knew it wasn’t, though. I explained in greater detail that in order for people of different religions to coexist there must be a mutual respect among religions. It is very unlikely that one might convince another to change his / her beliefs, so why even start the fight? And what’s more, are Facebook and Twitter really the best places to do this?
In everyday conversation and interaction, it’s wise to think about what you say before you say it since it can’t be taken back. I would say that guideline applies even more to social media since you can’t really understand the context, tone, etc. of the remark. Before we post anything online, we should stop to think about how it could be interpreted and make sure it’s respectful….or at least not pointlessly offensive.