What does this have to do with Fatherhood? Well, the immediate political part has nothing to do with being a father. On the other hand, the futile act of trying to make a point to someone who does not want to, or is incapable of hearing it is very similar to having a two-year-old in the house.
Now before you go off and call me an elitist hypocrite for comparing anyone who has a differing political opinion than mine to a toddler, please allow me to clarify. Everyone in a political fight on Facebook is a toddler. Both sides. Every time. Case in point:
Just like my kid thinks a picture of Elmo is a Rembrandt, folks on Facebook also like simple images. "Share if" and "Like if" posts plague my time line. The political ones are THE WORST. We reduce our opinions to snippy image macros and pass them around like trading cards. They are baited hooks waiting for someone to comment about how the image represents a complex topic in an overly simplified way... and then it begins.
Both sides are just waiting for the other side to stop talking (typing).
For toddlers this is called parallel play. The two kids play next to each other, but not with each other. The only time the two interact is when one pisses the other one off. Then they punch each other in the face.
On Facebook it is the same way. We type long, elaborate paragraphless screeds. We practically ignore the opposition's comments, scanning them only for fallacies that we can exploit in our own witty retorts. The person we're arguing with could write the Gettysburg Address. We'd read "score" and "conceived" and argue that they are pro-sex heathens who worship phallic deities.
No one shares.
Sure, everyone "shares" their opinion, but no one shares what really matters. Sharing is giving something up so the other person can have it. In political facebook fights no one gives anything up. We just pull and pull and pull until we either get what we want or the other person cries and runs away. Like toddlers.
So how does this help me to be a better dad?
Well… I'm not sure it does. It does help me be a better citizen of social media. It helps me stay sane. It allows me to realize that I am not a toddler, and that behaving like one on Facebook not only degrades me, but also contributes nothing to the world as a whole. I'll get to vote for whoever I want in November, and no amount of political bloviating on Facebook can take that away. That's pretty cool.
So maybe my political Facebook fight didn't make me a better father. I suppose every life experience doesn't have to make me a better dad. Maybe this time it was the opposite. Maybe being a father can make me a better person.