While one cannot live by “likes” alone, the number of likes against an article or a comment – or their absence – can be a telling indicator of a readership’s attitude.
As a case in point, I’ve recently entered discussion on a newspaper’s web site regarding several different issues, and found most comments were given at least a few “likes”.
However, when I joined a conversation about same-sex marriage, even though I didn’t express any outright opposition, I started to get some very hostile responses (all of which accrued several likes) while my own comments remained like-less.
But maybe the MOST telling aspect of that discussion was that most of my contributions consisted of me calling for civility – no matter which side of the fence a person stood and the majority of the responses I received were abusive.
I’ll be very open about the issue. I disagree with the concept of same sex marriage. However I recognise that I’m living in a secular democracy that decreasingly recognises the authority of God.
Within that democracy I have the right to vote and in the upcoming plebiscite related to same sex marriage, I will vote against it.
However, if the vote for change passes, I’m not going to lose sleep or get upset about it. Furthermore (and some Christians might find this unacceptable) if the plebiscite shows the majority are in support of recognising same sex marriage, and the government refuses to recognise that result and doesn’t pass legislation to make that change, I won’t be happy that the government ignored the result of the people’s vote.
Of course, that also applies should the people’s vote indicate an opposition to change. Since the government has chosen to take the plebiscite route, they need to respect and abide by its outcome no matter what that outcome may be. THAT is how secular democracy is supposed to work.
Perhaps ironically, the outcome of the plebiscite vote could be determined by the lack of involvement of the demographic group most in favour of same sex marriage – the 18-24 year olds who are the largest potential voting block NOT to register on the electoral roll.
With the plebiscite we might see a similar outcome as the recent Brexit referendum, where younger age groups were most in favour of staying in Europe, but were the largest demographic group who failed to vote at all, ensuring that their own wishes weren’t met.
This link seems to be where my involvement in the discussion started: