Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anti-social Media

It's a lot easier to piss people off than it used to be.  Or perhaps it's the advent of social media that makes it seem that way? After all, our identity and proximity influences the volume of our opinions. It's easy to be angry and anonymous, but difficult to be confrontational in person.  Either way, making political statements on Facebook, Twitter and other such portals is the latest way to vent anger over something we find offensive.

The latest one is North Carolina's vote on "Amendment 1" which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman.  It has turned the North Carolina Tourism Facebook page into a battleground of profanity, where critics have lashed out on the measure.  Many have said that they will no longer visit North Carolina because homosexuals cannot marry each other.  That makes good nonsense.

Of course, it's a tourism page, so one would assume (logically) that the visitors to the page are also visitors (i.e.: tourists) of the state and as such, shouldn't care what the voters in North Carolina decide.  It makes me wonder why people from, say, Arkansas would go to the trouble of logging onto their Facebook page just to post a snarky comment.  How many other states do they visit that have laws they disagree with?  Lots, I'd guess.  Utah and Nevada come to mind.

Never mind that North Carolina is the 31st state to do it under their constitution. So, if you're crossing states off your "anti-gay" vacation list, you're running out of places to go.  They are merely the most recent, and perhaps the only one with an accessible outlet like Facebook on which to vent.

What's the big deal about getting married anyway?  Why do people find that they need a piece of paper to declare their love for each other?  I was married once and I don't think I would have been any happier (or unhappier) if we had just lived together for 6 years and split up.  Why bring ink and paper into it?  Is it so horrible to commit to one another without a legal document?  I think there is a social side of the issue that needs to be explored.  Talk amongst yourselves.

So, visit North Carolina if you want.  Or don't. I hear it's a nice place. I'm guessing that for the duration of your stay you will not be forced to marry someone of the opposite sex and you may even escape without being propositioned.  You pay your money and take your chances.

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