Social media provides a plethora of benefits. Whether it’s maintaining social connections you wouldn’t have otherwise had, creating beneficial support networks, or accessing more information than ever before, social media helps streamline today’s social channels in a manner unfathomed during the early years of today’s millennials.
At this moment, however, social media also acts as a platform for anyone with an opinion to promote their views and opinions to the world. The fundamental problem is that today, the voice that stands out is no longer the word of the majority – but rather, the voice of the entertaining minority that may not make a whole lot of sense but for a swift click of a mouse button seems the better choice.
Drug Testing Welfare Recipients
Let’s take drug testing welfare recipients as an example. If presented with both sides of the argument, most people would choose to not vote for drug testing welfare recipients. However, since both sides are not given on social media, many follow the leader and exclaim “I work and pay my taxes, why should my money go to drug addicts without a job!?”
At first this seems like a logical argument – I pay taxes, and I see that MY tax money going to support people who are using drugs, who don’t have a job. I’m buying them food, I’m giving them money. THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!
Taking a Step Back
Are you willing to see the other side of this argument? In University I enrolled in a debate course and we were asked to pair up with someone. We were given a largely debated and controversial topic (eg. abortion), and asked to argue the other side (meaning, argue for the side you would never argue for). This was the hardest and most eye-opening task of my life. I am pro-choice, and have NEVER thought I would be swayed, and yet this debate opened my eyes to a world I had never seen. I am not saying that I have switched over to pro-life as a fundamental state of belief – what I am saying is that I now know both sides more completely than I ever would have before.
So first ask yourself – are you willing to see things another way?
Drug Testing Welfare Recipients
Did you know that this has been tested in 9 different states? In these states drug testing has cost more money for the state than it has saved (yes that means MORE of your tax dollars). Tests resulted in a less than 1% drug usage rate overall, and in most cases the person suffered from other health problems which were unrelated to drug use.
Our biggest problem is that we are arguing over how to handle these problems after they arise.
I’ll say that again: Our biggest problem is that we are arguing over how to handle these problems after they arise. “Should we be taxing welfare recipients?” needs to be turned into “how can we reduce the number of welfare recipients?”.
We do NOT need to be focusing on how to DEAL with those on welfare, but how to PREVENT people from ending up on welfare.
It isn’t just welfare. It’s any action that produces a negative effect within society – Welfare, Drug Abuse, Abortion, Poverty, Criminality.
What if we focused on preventing these things?
What if we put our money towards making birth control more available.. or even FREE?
What if we put our society’s dollars towards schools, and helped with recognizing children with learning disabilities?
What if we put our taxes towards communities that built upon and supported one another? Communities that worked together to donate clothing and resources to others in need?
The solution is not becoming angry at band-aid solutions after-the-fact. The solution is to prevent these social injustices before they begin.
It is easy to say “I will not let my tax dollars go towards a meth head, who does not work, while I slave away for 10 hours a day”. The reality is, if we cut off welfare to these people who have fallen victim to drug addiction – who, when given the option to eat or do drugs and die would quickly rather than choose the latter… how can you, as a human being, say “let them die”.
The choice is NOT “give them my money” or “let them die”.
There is an option we have not invested in: Prevention.
Those traveled down this path already deserve our compassion. Those that have not and can be saved deserve every prevention measure necessary.
So, rather than using your social media for promoting hatred, open your mind to ways we can prevent these tragedies. Ways we can put our tax dollar to good use, so that we aren’t in the land of “The Lord of the Flies“, ganging up on the helpless – but rather, in a whole new world where human beings help each other to fulfill the potential within us.