Thunder Bay – OPINION – In a dynamic and fast changing world social media can be a game changer. Online platforms have given the average citizen an amplified voice, especially on the political stage. This can be an empowering tool that allows anyone to join the conversation and chime in on a variety of issues.
However challenges can arise when participants are required to elbow their way through the cynicism and negativity so pervasive on social media these days. The fear of having opinions heckled or attacked likely keep many contributors in the shadows which can water-down critical discourse.
Politicians like myself by virtue of our position invite a degree of condemnation and scrutiny but the average citizen may be less interested in participating in heated online debates.
Luckily, the theatre of online platforms such as Facebook do not typify the general behaviour of society. In the streets people remain kind and generally take care of one other. If any of us want friends we need to make room for a variety of opinions and therein lies our strength.
Those with grievances shouldn’t take it out on folks simply trying to wade into the discussion; rather, reach out to an elected official like me. It’s literally my job to offer clarity and context to issues and I’m always happy to do so.
Social media is a fully accessible format for everyone. With a little civility it can be a tool for the transformative conversations that will inform our future, strengthen our community and set a positive example for the generations to come.