Do you bring your social network into the voting booth or church pew with you?
In this day and age where everyone has a soap box and a forum upon which to share their opinions with others, I see many people, however, who openly voice their voting decisions, their views on controversial political issues, their prayers, and their love of, or disbelief in, God. For right or wrong, knowing this information makes me feel closer--or more distant--from these people. Although opposites attract, I believe more fully in "birds of a feather flock together" and, yes, if you share my opinion on any of these issues, I will most likely feel a closer connection to you.
When we discover we have a common belief system with someone, it usually does create a bond of sorts. Will this make Joe more likely to want to hire Sally as a consultant because she's in support of SB101 like he is? (I made up that Senate bill, so don't look it up.) If Joe sees Sally say she's in support of same sex marriage and he isn't, will Joe be more likely to hire Sam (who either has the same opinion as Joe or has not publicly announced an opinion at all)? Do social networking sites open up a whole Pandora's Box when it comes to our private lives and very personal beliefs?
As for me, if I see someone share something political or religious that I agree with, I may, and have on occasion, sent a private message to them saying that it's nice to know they're a kindred spirit. I did this twice today, which actually gave me the idea for this post. And, although I respect everyone's right to share what they please and cast no judgment on their decision to do so, I still choose to censor myself on certain topics.
In person, I do enjoy a spirited discussion on evolution versus creation or any number of controversial or provocative topics. However, in person, my comments have context. In person, I choose who hears what I say and who I engage with. On social networking sites, I may be throwing out my opinion to thousands of strangers.
It used to be that it was completely inappropriate to ask someone who they voted for, and to do so was considered ignorant. I suppose, I'm still a bit old school in keeping certain aspects of my life private. Am I alone in this? Do you want to see how I've filled out my sample ballot or know who I do or don't worship?
Is there room in the voting booth for me and my entire social network?