Have you noticed how many people respond to social media questions? Do you remember the 2008 election, when more votes were cast in the American Idol contest than for president? (Admittedly, AI lets folks vote more than once, but still..)
Since then, it's become commonplace that people with Twitter accounts can 'vote' in real time on the NBA Draft ("Do you think Player X should have been the #2 pick? Let us know!"). Folks on Facebook are asked to react to news stories ("We are following the breaking story of the puppy who rescued a kitten. Let us know how you feel about puppies rescuing kittens!") Instagram account holders can stream pictures that define their lives (I was at the airport and was THIS CLOSE to the guy who was in that movie about those people!!!) It sounds as if I am making fun of social media - and truly I'm not - but my genuine concern is that we will somehow grow to mistake reacting to showing up. That we will somehow think that by weighing in with our opinion (Yes, Frank, I've got to say that I don't believe that a species should save members of other species, but kudos to that pup!) is a substitute for thinking, caring, or actually taking part in something.
However you feel about the recent SCOTUS decision on the Voting Rights Act (and believe me, I have some strong feelings about it) please remember that anyone over 18 SHOULD ALWAYS VOTE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, AND SPEND TIME RESEARCHING HOW AND FOR WHOM TO VOTE. However you feel about the recent SCOTUS decision on DOMA (and I have some equally strong feelings about that), don't dare base your opinion on what someone told you or what you were told the Bible says or because of your personal feelings. The laws of a just society cannot be based on how we feel. All citizens should read the primary articles, not the Cliff Notes.
There are some in my profession to want to claim that this country is going to hell in a handbasket because of who others love, or what gets posted on courthouse walls. I would counter that our country would be better served by people who understand that spouting an opinion on Facebook is not enough. That hitting the "like" button on an organization is not the same as volunteering, contributing, or writing a check. That changing your profile picture is no substitute for being involved. Being a valuable member of society requires time, dirty hands, thinking, and being involved.
Hit "like" if you agree. :-)