Why is everyone so angry? When did the interpretation of Freedom change to “I have a right to HATE on someone because they have a different opinion”? When did the Internet and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter become the correct form of expression for paragraph after paragraph of venomous posts about something that someone did or said? We criticize our children for Cyber-bullying, but everyday someone is on the internet is hating on someone else.

Surf the internet for a second or two, and you’ll see the venom pouring out from those who verbally attack people they do not know, calling them stupid, un-educated, un-informed, and lastly, idiots. Please tell me when having a difference of opinion gave someone the right to be so hateful and angry? Listen to talk radio, MSNBC, or FOX News, and you can almost hear the blood pressure rising from those speaking about immigration, gas prices, discrimination and politics.

It’s ironic that less than two decades ago, we thought that the Internet and 24-hours news stations would bring us closer together and make us better informed. Without a doubt, digital technologies have empowered citizens, but now they are drunk with power when they get behind a computer screen and keyboard.

Why do we treat each other with so little grace?

With a few keystrokes, a person can degrade, humiliate and embarrass someone that doesn’t share their opinions. If you don’t like someone’s business or charity or you had a bad customer service experience, within seconds you can send out a degrading review to all your friends and receive hundreds of LIKES. But, often the person, business or charity is helpless to defend themselves or tell their side. We make fun of people and beliefs with no consequence anymore and hide behind our Freedom of speech.

Is the time for niceness over?

I believe it is time to remember what the Fourth of July and our Freedom really means. It means the right to have a difference of opinion and the right to express it in a healthy manner. It also means to have tolerance and compassion for those who think or are different than yourself.

While we are celebrating with family and friends, while we are enjoying our fireworks, I believe it is time to celebrate our differences and engage in healthy debates and protests. If you want to change a policy, go back to the roots of those who came before you and get involved in the change. If you want a new President in the next election, you go out and volunteer, register voters and more importantly … go vote. Don’t spend your time hating on the internet or trying to change others by calling them names or unfriending them. Agree to disagree and allow everyone to exercise their Freedom to think differently than you do.