Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

February 14, 2014

Why do we complicate things so?

VALDOSTA — Today is Valentine’s Day. A day for lovers, friends, spouses, and significant others to express their feelings to one another.

In simpler days, you simply bought a card, like the cute kids Valentine’s “Bee Mine” cards with a honeybee on it and a place for a candy heart or a lollipop and handed it out to friends. Today, there are an infinite number of ways to express your love — an e-card, a tweet, a Facebook post, a snapchat, a vine, an email, a text, and the list goes on and on. The simplest of acts is now a complicated labyrinth of possibilities.

Given the many ways that instant communication has changed our world and our personal interactions in ways both wondrous and confounding, there have always been things in life that we could always count on to stay the same; things that are certain, unbending, unchanging, that one could always count on to add some stability to our now chaotic, connected lives. But no more.

Beginning Thursday on Facebook, one essential, simple characteristic is now so confusing dictionaries are necessary to understand the definitions.

Because now on Facebook, you are no longer male or female, unless you choose to be. The one basic characteristic that all children learn at the earliest of ages — gender — now has at least 50 varieties. Yes, that’s correct - 50.

Apparently, those two choices are no longer accurate. You can be a seemingly endless variety and combination of the two, or of one, or of none. Who knew there were so many? In recent years, a third option was added to help satisfy those who did not identify with being fully male or female, but 50 varieties?

Just as the definitions of race have evolved, from the simple black, white or Indian choices given for many years to the numerous combinations of ethnicities found on demographic surveys today, it seems that gender will be the next fluid characteristic. No doubt when the next U.S. Census is taken in 2020, there will be a multitude of choices under gender, not just two.

Society has to advance and evolve to reflect changing beliefs, even challenging the most basic roles humans have identified with for millennia, but there are those who long for simpler times. Times when choices were fewer, options were limited and characteristics were either/ or not neither/ many.

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What We Think
  • Thumbs up

    THUMBS UP: To Carol Mikkelsen. Valdosta State University Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas” marks the last production before Mikkelsen’s retirement
    after 44 years with Valdosta State and the creation of the opera program. She plans to continue
    working with VSU part-time, but this weekend’s performance marks her last full-time participation with the opera productions. Ovations all around for her work.

    April 18, 2014

  • Feed the hungry, adopt a duck

    If you haven’t already adopted a duck, you have a little more than a week to do so.

    April 17, 2014

  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

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Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
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