I just wanted to talk about some things that have gotten to me yesterday and today concerning Twitter, and public opinion. First I’m going to talk a little bit about people’s responses about the debate last night, and then I’m going to get into this overweight newscaster ordeal.
Some people took to incessently posting about how annoyed they were with everyone tweeting about what was happening with the debate. Tweeting, about being annoyed with all the tweets…. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Besides, since it’s creation, Twitter has been used as a vessel for live conversation about what’s going on. “Don’t even need to watch the debate, I can read about it on Twitter, snark snark snark.” If you don’t want to read about the debate on Twitter, log off for the duration! It’s really just that simple. As a social media addict myself, (going on four months Facebook-sober, thank you very much!) I know it’s hard to separate ourselves from our internet presences, but you have to know when enough is enough. If you’re so into the social media that a live feed of what people think of a national event is ruining said national event for you, then just log off.
I don’t mind the live tweets during the debates, or awards shows, or certain television shows. I do it too! It’s freedom of speech baby, and it’s a beautiful thing. I learned a long time ago that on American Idol Season Finale night, I had to step away from the computer and the cell phone. Our family likes to start TV shows about a half an hour late so that we can fast forward through the commercials. All it took was one Facebook friend posting a status about the AI winner before I had seen it before I realized that it was not THEIR fault the results were spoiled for me. It was my fault for paying too much attention to the social media. We NEED to start to realize when things are taking over our lives.
Personally, I have recognized my social media network problem. I blame the basic fact that I have a very addictive personality, and can easily become obsessed. I don’t smoke anymore and I don’t Facebook anymore, but I do tweet, post to instagram, and go to the gym for 2.5 hours a day. All products of my addictive personality. I’ve also learned when to step away and have realized how to separate real life from the internet. I don’t do it often, but I freaking know how and am not afraid to.
Another popular topic in the Twitterverse last night was outrage at the underaged teens tweeting about the debate. I saw a lot of ‘You’re not even old enough to vote, so shut your mouth-your opinions don’t matter.’ Folks, every decision you and I and all the other voters out there VOTE on is not only for us, it’s for these kids. They don’t get to make the decisions, they’re relying on us to make the right ones FOR them. Hell, at least they’re paying attention to what’s going on in the world and in their country. Maybe this way, when it IS their turn to vote, they’ll be able to make more informed decisions, because they weren’t just sitting around with their fingers in their ears refusing to listen because the ‘adults’ told them to shut their mouths.
I get annoyed when people can’t intelligently voice their opinions. I’m one of the most passionate, opinionated people out there, but I physically do whatever I can to try to contain my emotions when expressing my opinions. Oh, you’ll know how I feel, but I try my hardest to express them in a way that won’t make me seem like an out of control nut-job. I really don’t like all the flat out HATE that was slung against BOTH of the candidates last night and I just don’t understand why everyone has to get so worked up about it. Tweet that you don’t like Mitt Romney or that you don’t trust Barack Obama. That’s all well and good. But quit with the name-calling and the rumor-slinging. It’s ridiculous, it’s immature, and it’s not going to make anyone change their minds about who they’re voting for.
Let me talk about this overweight newscaster thing for a second. If you haven’t heard about it yet, here’s the Cliff’s Note version. A newscaster in Wisconsin I believe it was, received a letter from a viewer ridiculing her for her weight. She responded to it, standing up for herself, he’s sticking by his comments, that’s that.
The main thing I’m seeing here is that she’s in the public eye, she put herself in a position to be criticized. There is an outpouring of judgement, and comments on how she’s supposed to be a role model, she needs to drink more water and eat better-she’ll feel better about herself… I just think it’s a sad day when we think that because of someone’s choice to have a career that puts them on television, we think it’s now OUR job to tell them how to live their lives. We don’t know these people, we don’t know their lives. We go on about magazines spreading the wrong impression and making young girls feel self-conscious about their bodies, and then we turn around and tell a newscaster she needs to hit the gym? It doesn’t matter if the over-weight newscaster is 100% comfortable in her own skin, or that her confidence is through the roof, she can apparently only be a good role-model if she is a shining example of health and fitness. And even worse than that, society thinks it’s THEIR RIGHT, THEIR PLACE to make that call, and to tell someone when they’re not living their life the way society thinks they should.
I think society can suck it. Society as a whole has a serious issue with ENTITLEMENT and feeling like just because we have this beautiful freedom of speech thing going on, that we can abuse that and say whatever we want, whether it hurts people’s feelings or not. What happened to this anti-bullying tirade everyone has been on lately? I thought we were trying to PROMOTE self-confidence, and the idea that everyone is beautiful, and created equal, and that it’s what’s on the inside that matters most. Apparently that only applies to 12 year old nerds, not overweight adult women.
I used to be fat, and I’m currently on my weight loss journey. But just because that’s the path I chose, and just because I feel better now that I eat better and I work out almost 20 hours a week doesn’t mean that a newscaster from Wisconsin can’t be a good role model because she doesn’t. WE DON’T KNOW HER. If someone had told me back in February that because I was fat, I was a bad role model… I would have been heartbroken. Wondering what the hell my weight had to do with my being a positive influence and a representative of confidence and achievement. I have ALWAYS been a good person. A good daughter, sister, friend… I have always worked hard and made moral decisions despite external pressures… I didn’t just BECOME a good person when I lost 45 lbs. Being a good role model has nothing to do with one’s weight.
Society is a two-faced beast who flips and flops depending on the situation. ‘STOP BULLYING, EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL.’ -Except that overweight newscaster, she’s totally gross and a terrible role-model. SHE needs a personal trainer. Nevermind the fact that she has obviously worked hard to reach her career goals. Maybe don’t ask her for advice on a structured gym routine, but don’t discount her as a bad role model. That’s just ignorant.
I just wish everyone would worry about their own lives and stop thinking that they have the right to meddle with everyone elses.