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Yard Signs: A Sign of the Old Times

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The world of social media has blown up over the past decade. Whatever your idea, cause, thought, the meal you had for lunch, it is all apparently worthy of sharing with the world. Platforms have developed that cater to specific ways to share your thoughts: through photography (Instagram), dance (TikTok) or written word (Twitter, etc.).

Given these new outlets for sharing, it boggles my mind that yard signs continue as a means of message sharing and is even a preferred method among a certain demographic. All these social media outlets at one’s disposal that allow you to spew forth to hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands. And yet, the yard sign survives. I have to believe that yard sign messaging is for people who have not yet grasped the power of social media.

The messages on most of the signs have become so predictable. Most common are political signs (no matter that the candidate won or lost a year ago or longer) and the ever popular “Pray to End Abortion” message. This reference to one of the Bible’s commandments might lead you to believe that “thou shalt not murder” is the most important of the ten guiding principles that we should follow.

If the commandments were viewed as a “top ten” countdown list à la David Letterman, number one on the list would be (drum roll)... “I am the Lord thy God.” “Thou shalt not murder” is number five. And yet, it garners the exclusive attention of yard sign enthusiasts.

But why the exclusivity? If you are going out of the Bible’s sequence, then why not focus on adultery? It has equal import among the commandments. Among your community and among your own congregation, adultery is a much more common occurrence. There are many more people seeking out an extramarital affair than there are people seeking an abortion. Yet, there are no “Pray to End Adultery” signs. Those signs would probably hit a little too close to home for many yard sign social media influencers. But consider if you cut down on adultery you may also cut down on abortions! No, it is easier for them to stick to reaching the sinners that also hit on a hot button political issue.

I would say the yard sign social media folks are one step removed from bumper sticker devotees. Again, you typically see the same sort of messaging: political, religious, patriotic, my kid goes to this school, etc. The slogan “Come and Take It” has become very popular on bumper stickers, albeit for different reasons than that slogan was originally intended. Come and take what? How is a person to know? If you could elaborate a little bit, I might be interested. Especially if it is free.

One thing about fans of bumper stickers I’ve observed over many years of driving: The more bumper stickers that are plastered on a vehicle, no matter what kind of messaging it is, the less likely that driver is to let you in when traffic has to merge. No zippering for them. Of course, they would have to be in front of you if they want you to see their bumper stickers.

Speaking of traffic, I used to have a fear of speed bumps. But I’m slowly getting over it.

Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.