Bumper Sticker “Communication”

I have come to think of all the little signs and posters that I see on Facebook as “bumper stickers”….brief statements, often accompanied by or consisting of a picture, created to make a point.  Some of these bumper stickers are amusing.  I’m an insomniac, so I “shared” this one the other day. Other’s, however, are detrimental to true discourse, and make their point with negative hit and run tactics, use sarcasm and name calling, and are directed at anyone who disagrees. Lest anyone think that this post is about a specific issue, I will say at the outset that this is about the deterioration of civility and respect in our communications with each other, and will therefore use more than one example. The first one is rather mild.  It is trying to make a negative point about our nation’s public schools, but is so general that it’s hard to know what that point is.  Does it mean that our schools stifle creativity? Does it mean that they cater to only one type of learner/student?  It ignores the fact that there are both good and bad schools all over the country, that their effectiveness, or lack thereof is dependent on a number of factors, that the public education system in the United States is not perfect, but accepts anyone and everyone who cares to have a free public education, and that parents as well as educators are accountable for their child’s learning.  The photo gives no credit as to the creator, so it’s impossible to know anything about the person/agency that created it.  (I find myself wondering at times exactly WHO is pushing their agenda into the mainstream.  It’s interesting when there’s no way of finding out).  If the creator really wanted to generate discussion, they might try asking a few questions and inviting others to join in the conversation.  They might mention their qualifications to make whatever statement they are trying to make.  But then it would be a discussion, not a bumper sticker. Here’s a real hot button topic.  We need to have true discussions on this issue, which means listening as well as speaking.  This bumper sticker is detrimental to that process, taking one-sided aim at another group by utilizing name calling, imperatives and misinformation.  Check it out:  The right and left columns are inarguable.  Jesus never did directly address homosexuality, and everyone does have a right to their own opinion.  Everything in between is, at best, debatable and at worst, wrong, (and that is for a different post),  so false information is being disseminated in a way that will be accepted by anyone who doesn’t bother to ask questions.  However, asking questions is strongly discouraged by the name calling in the lower left corner, and the command to “grow up” in the lower right, implying that the creator is more mature and in charge than anyone who might disagree.  The demand for tolerance, in this case, is fairly hypocritical.  This poster appears to have been created by an individual, but based on the language on that person’s page I doubt that it originated with them. (I’m not being snarky, just stating what I think and why I think it.) The last example came from a site called Meme Generator.  Apparently people can create these things on their site as long as they don’t mind being subjected to advertising.  Lots of advertising.  So, it’s a money-making site, with no overt agenda of their own.  Notice the heading….”So, you think….?”  Same heading as the previous one.  Immediately argumentative, it makes a hit and run statement not just about the creator’s stance on the subject but about their smirky position above whoever they’re addressing.  It addresses a gray issue with a black and white statement.  Gun control doesn’t have to be about taking away all guns.  It could require, just as for driving a car, a learner’s permit, time spent getting experience/instruction, and possible suspension of a license if misused, among other things.  Maybe these things are already in place….I’m not an expert on gun control, just giving an example of what a discussion might look like.

So….what was this post about?  Communication.  Speaking and listening, without acting as if we’re on the national playground. Is this the only way we communicate?  Certainly not, but it is far more common than it was before Facebook.  (There’s another interesting idea to explore.  And by the way, I love Facebook.)  If we continue along this path, we will be cease to be The United States.  If you’d like to comment, I’d love that.  Please stick to the topic, communication, and remain respectful.

3 comments on “Bumper Sticker “Communication””

  1. […] Bumper Sticker “Communication” Share and Enjoy:Share this:DiggEmailFacebookPrintTwitterRedditStumbleUpon […]

  2. Love these! I’ve posted a few of them on my faceboook… Mostly just had you on my mind today, so wanted to say hi. Hope you’re having a good day!

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