Is it over yet?

I know I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait for this election to be over. It’s gotten so ugly out there. I’ve unfollowed so many people in the last few months. I’m now  a pro at hitting that little downward arrow in the upper right corner of posts. Good grief. I haven’t unfollowed just the people supporting the “other” candidate either. It’s been across the board unfollowing. I can’t take it anymore.

There was an interesting segment on 60 Minutes last night with a panel of voters – decided, and undecided, voting for someone, and voting against someone. The person doing the interviewing – a man who’s been doing this a very long time – said he’s never seen anything like this, the way everyone on the panel was talking over each other, getting so angry, not listening to anyone else at all. It was a sad statement on our society.

I’d been blaming it on the 24-hour news cycle. The media has to hype even the smallest scandals or slip-ups, drawing them out, sucking the life out of every little thing, then re-hash it for days. I do think it’s contributed to our elections becoming a three-ring circus, full of mud-slinging, half-truths, insults, and a complete loss of integrity.

What I’ve come to realize in the course of the last year is that social media is just as much, if not more, to blame. First of all, social media is the biggest rumor mill outside of high school. Ever play the telephone game? Multiply that times oh, about 3 billion or so. Everyone  has a platform, a public voice. Too many people choose to exercise that voice without ever fact checking what they’re repeating or re-posting. It’s so easy to sling insults from behind the safety of a keyboard and computer screen – when you never have to see the person you’re sending a bunch of horrible words towards. I’ve watched long-term friendships go down in flames over stupid Facebook posts within the last year.

I have two teenagers and one almost-teenager. They’re very aware what’s going on. We don’t censor much.  I’ve watched the behavior of kids their age spiral back to a place we’ve worked so hard to crawl out of….This election  has led too many kids to believe it’s okay to say horrible things, write horrible things about those who are different in any way. We’ve shut it down with our children – reminding them this is just NOT okay behavior, and won’t be tolerated no matter what they see being accepted as the norm around them. It’s sad, and it’s heartbreaking.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over, for this election to be done. I have a bad feeling all the bad feelings aren’t going to end, however, with the end of this election cycle. I pray this isn’t how people are going to be from here on out. I pray we will be able to heal, recover, re-group, and support whomever is elected. Until then, I think I’m going to just hide over here in my little corner of the world, with my family, my friends,  and some chocolate. Tell me when it’s over.

PS…Yes, I did vote.