The past couple of weeks, months really, social media has been a virtual minefield! Be it the great political divide, or the latest sports team winning or losing, or the announcement of yet another famous person who has died…it’s all been there on social media – the good, the bad, and certainly the ugly.
I generally try to self-moderate what I post on social media – not something everyone does. I’m a professional, and 99% of what I post on social media I post publicly. I use the rule of thumb that if I wouldn’t want my grandmother to know it, I shouldn’t post it. At some point I know that my employer might “look me up”, and so I don’t gripe about my job or the people I work with. In that same light, my neighbors and community members might look me up – so I don’t post about the funny or annoying things I see or overhear from my property. I’m also a business owner – actually 2 businesses – and so my customers might look me up, and so I don’t post anything negative about my “competitors”. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I post and share darn near anything related to coffee, many posts about positive, uplifting, empowering sentiments, cute animals, lovely pictures of things in nature, and sometimes things that are just plain hilarious. I post pictures of my own animals, my family, and my tattoos. I post a lot of information about MRKH. And I post about God and prayer.
Remember, my rule of thumb is “would I want my grandmother to know about it”. Does she know about my tattoos, MRKH, and my belief in God? Sure, she does. Yet, somehow…on social media, those are controversial somehow. They make some people uncomfortable.
I get how tattoos are not for everyone, and the fact that I have ANY tattoos in the first place surprises some people. Some might even go so far as to say that I’ve violated some sacred rule by getting a tattoo – your body is a temple and all that. Don’t get me started about piercings! Both are personal expressions, and choices I’ve deliberately made. Ok, fine, so you don’t like tattoos or piercings, does that mean that now you don’t like ME? Apparently, for some, yes.
I totally understand how my talk of MRKH can make people uncomfortable. After all, I talk about “private parts” in public (gasp!). I use anatomically correct names like vagina, uterus, ovaries, kidneys in regular conversations. If people start asking questions I go so far as to talk about vaginal dilation, vaginal depth, and sexual intercourse. Yep, I talk about all those things in public while I’m talking about MRKH, and it makes people uncomfortable – but I also talk about raising awareness, reducing shame, educating our medical providers, and empowering women.
In the past few months, I’ve also posted more openly about my faith – God, Prayer, Forgiveness, and even posted pictures of my own Baptism. Apparently this also makes people uncomfortable.
I will not apologize for posting things that might make you feel uncomfortable, although it makes me sad to see that some of the people I enjoy seeing in my news feed have now disappeared through the use of the “unfriend” button. In fact, I find it rather ironic actually. I self moderate, and intentionally don’t post things I think are likely to stir up an argument.
I don’t post about politics – it’s a topic I dislike discussing. I’ll not tell you how I voted, or how I feel about the outcome of the elections. I’ll not forward on memes making fun of or showing blatant disrespect for any politician. I probably won’t even like a post…even if I find it hilarious or spot on accurate…if I think it will associate me one way or the other to a side of a debate I don’t want to have. Don’t get me wrong, I have my opinions – I just don’t use social media as an outlet to debate them.
Here are the things I will tell you, knowing full well you may disagree with me on any of them, and THAT’S OK with me!
- I am a Christian, and believe that Jesus died for me on that cross, and someday he will come back for me.
- I believe in equal rights for all humans, genders, races, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations.
- I believe in marriage and the commitment and fidelity it implies – no matter who you love.
- I believe in the right to have an abortion if you feel justified.
- I believe that couples who struggle with any form of infertility should have access to treatments including IVF, Surrogacy, and Transplants when medically necessary – and it shouldn’t cost the proverbial arm and a leg for it!
- I believe our country needs quality, comprehensive, and accessible healthcare for everyone regardless of income level.
- I believe our country needs quality, comprehensive, and accessible education for everyone regardless of income level.
- I believe in responsible gun ownership, and the ability to both protect and provide for yourself and your family.
- I believe everyone should be conscientious stewards of our planet and our natural resources.
- I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions, and their right to share them publicly if they choose to do so.
Bottom line, I am a strong and independent woman. I self identify as a happily married, tattooed and pierced, heterosexual woman, a Christian, a gun owner, an Army veteran, an MRKH warrior, a business owner, a coffee and wine lover, an animal lover, and an advocate for others just like – or very different – from me!
Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in – just do it with dignity, respect, and love. Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we all did it this way?