WE LIVE IN ONE OF THE most divisive times in history - and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Today's world is filled with all sorts of incendiary and toxic subjects; from gun control to abortion to Benghazi to football injuries to when and where the President takes a vacation.
We are consumed as a people by all sorts of rampant issues, and more and more it's not the issue at hand, but rather which side of the political spectrum we happen to align ourselves with.
A big part of this is our access to social media through advancements in technology. The Internet and "Facebook" and blogs and other sources of information have put the world at our fingertips, but far too often we mistakenly think that information we find there is factual and accurate.
But with all of the information we have at our disposal, it is very, very, important that we take the time to actually consider and analyze that information before we believe it.
Anyone with a computer or access to one can create some sort of forum to broadcast their beliefs. This can be done with no interference or fact-checking from credible sources; and when we blindly believe what we see or read, it can lead us to form opinions on issues that simply aren't based in fact.
Credible sources of information, starting here in this community with this newspaper and our local radio station, are held to standards; and although there are times when we make mistakes (everyone's human, after all), the difference is that when you hear a news report on Froggy or read an article here, you can feel assured that before we presented that information to you, it was carefully checked and gone over - because we want it to be correct.
We want you to trust us.
I believe that we've gained that trust.
Sure, there are things that we report that may make some people uncomfortable. There are things that we report that may make someone down right mad; but whether it's the radio station of this or another newspaper, we work very hard to report the news that people want to know - and also report the news that people need to know.
No one hides behind some blog heading and spews their ideology for the world to see. You know who produces your news, and I believe that you can trust that what we deliver is as fair and accurate as we can possibly deliver it.
I believe that Froggy radio feels the very same way.
Like many of you, I have a Facebook account, and when I opened it (very much against my wishes), I was told by my daughters that it was a fast and reliable way to communicate with the kids whom I was taking to Bigstuf Camp in Florida that summer.
After all, every kid had a Facebook account, so with one push of a button I could give them all information at the same time.
I remember that I found some former high school and college classmates on there, and we began to catch up on what was going on in our lives and in the lives of our families.
You could post a picture or congratulate someone on some accomplishment; and it was a nice, fun way to kill a little time and hear about what was going on with others that you care about.
Now, Facebook and other sites like it are filled with political rhetoric and vile and hate and threats when it comes to political or social issues. We are bombarded with positions that have been taken by our friends and family - and we're urged to take those same positions.
Frankly, it's not much fun anymore.
I shouldn't have to hit "like" and "share" for my mom to know that I love her; of Jesus for that matter.
I could care less if someone's "Farm" got the needed four cords of wood; or if someone "nabbed a blue rabbit".
Like millions of others, I was very happy when the general election ended last November; not because I wanted to know who won the elections; but because I believed that it would stop the onslaught of hate and slander and polarization that came out of my computer and my television set.
The day after the election, just one day later, someone posted on Facebook: "One day down, only three years and 364 days left until Obama leaves office".
I mean, really? You don't have anything better to do than start beating on the President just one day after the election? That's not a political statement on my part, believe me, and it shouldn't be perceived as to my position concerning our leader - it's simply indicative of the atmosphere in which we live.
By the way, all you "Facebookers", in case you haven't noticed, the kids are gone. Our young people have moved on to some other sort of social media now - I think because what they used to use got overrun by adults. Sure, there are still accounts and teens and college kids, but you're more likely to find them now on Instagram or Twitter; and I have a feeling that when we "old timers" invade that, they'll move on to something else."
Let's make a pact to return social media sites to what they were originally intended to be, a place to relax and catch up with friends and family.
We don't need the divisiveness.
It's been a year since Vevay Newspapers lost our editor and publisher, Don Wallis, Jr. It amazes me how fast time passes; but there isn't a day that I don't think of him or the guidance that he gave me. That's him sitting in his boat at the beginning of this column, and I guess it's my way of reminding myself that these are my words, but they come from a tremendous influence.