What is LAC you ask? It stands for lack of civility, and I hope I am the first who coined it. What I am focusing on is the LAC in social media. It’s running rampant and shows no signs of slowing down.
Some of this LAC is coming from our political climate. Politics has become so polarizing that people are taking more extreme stands on either political side. The result on social media are political rants based on whatever platform a person supports. It has infiltrated all aspects of life.
For instance, the other day I posted a complaint about a newspaper headline. I was completely focused on the grammar, although the headline was for a letter to the editor regarding a political issue. So I posted the headline on Facebook and asked my friends who can spot the mistakes in this headline, and I said “grammatical not political.” And most of my friends who posted followed suit and made comments about the grammar, having fun with the headline and staying off politics. But then there was that one who posted the political rhetoric and then there followed another (polar political opposite of the first), followed by the third who supported the second. End result? They killed what was a fun little conversation about typos, newspapers, and grammar. While they didn’t get into real mudslinging, they did manage to get a few digs and insults lobbed at each other.
And that is what is wrong.
People are so angry that they are hyper-focused on their own anger. They leave civility behind and feel self-righteous enough to post whatever they feel and feel justified in insulting each other.
I really don’t know how to curb this tendency. After all, I only have control over my own behavior and no one else’s.
What did I do about my post? Well, nothing. I thought about reminding them that this was only about grammar and typos – that I didn’t mean to have anything political, but knowing the three like I do, I realized that it would only open the door to more angry diatribes. But I felt frustrated nonetheless that they intruded on my page with their anger and yet, hate.
I debated on whether to unfriend them. I didn’t do that either. Although I get tired of their rants, I do feel like I am better off being aware of what people are up to then turning a blind eye to them. Don’t worry, there are people I have unfriended, but I usually reserve that to more serious things than I simply disagree with them.
Still, social media is full of posts by people that are insulting, rude, and downright dangerous. And our media outlets just seem to feed the beast. They too put out bait. And they revel in LAC because it increases viewership, readership and ratings. When will it all implode? I have no idea, but I fear where we are headed with LAC. It is growing each day and taking more and more disturbing turns.