Welcome to the 21st century.
Yep. Here we are. No flying cars. No Aliens. But we did get the Cubs as World Series Champions and the Simpson’s prophecy about the Donald becoming president became true.
After this year’s election, some are in shock wondering, ‘How did we get here?’ Well, look at the social media you digest on a daily basis and I believe you will find much of the causality.
Why Trump? Why rioting in the streets by a few students yelling ‘Kill Trump’, “F Trump’ and ‘He’s not my president’? Look no further than the type of posts you see on a daily basis and, especially, the ones you REPOST.
We live in a REPOST WORLD. Something appeals to us and we pass it along to our friends and followers. But, as many have suggested, most of us live in an ECHO CHAMBER.
The internet was supposed to keep the world interconnected and bring us together in love and unity, right? Well, what happened? Social media happened. The kings of the social feeds, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, were supposed to open our minds to various people and opinions out there, It was also thought to be a way to educate many of us as to the ‘truth’ that is out there. In many ways, it does. But, in so many other ways, it fails miserably. Especially, if all you consume is social media.
What are we to believe anymore? No one deals in actual truth anymore.
On top of that, you get to where you can’t trust the network news stations to stay unbiased and just report the news. Too many times, the ‘news’ agencies are twisted and bent to one philosophy or another. While the conservative masses rightly scream about the networks being ‘left-leaning’. We can clearly see that ‘fair and balanced’ is nothing of the sort. FOX NEWS, I’m looking at you.
Add to that, the fact that most of us only look for friends and news sources that agree with us and you tell right away that we don’t want to be challenged anymore. We only want to be validated. Instead of watching the news and going, ‘Wow, I didn’t know or realize that’, we allow ourselves to be whipped into a frenzy like we’re at some pep rally. There is no real counter arguments. No, we simply get some stooge from the ‘other side’ who gets powned and sent his or her way. And we’re left going, ‘Yeah! Take that!’
Couple that with our social cocoon we’ve build ourselves and you have a disaster in the making. Or, better yet, maybe we’ve had that disaster. That’s yet to be seen. But, at least, the reactions we are seeing play out the one-sided arguments we’re used to having. And those of us with friends and family on ‘both sides’ see this online Armageddon playing out before our eyes. On top of that, when we do stop to have a logical discussion, we find ourselves ganged up on and shouted out.
And, to make matters worse, internet sites which crave attention like an ignored child have reached new lows in their campaign to get people to click their bait. Half truths and outright lies clutter the web and, apparently, need no proof or collaboration. If it validates our side or candidate or opinion, we jump on it and like it, most of the time, without even reading it. It’s as bad as those ‘type amen to get a blessing’ posts. There is no meat to it and, if you follow the logic, there are blatant flaws and blaring error in their facts. It makes my ‘side’ look good. But, in most instances, it goes a bit farther in that it attempts to totally annihilate the ‘enemy’; either shedding a bad light or absolutely stooping to name calling.
And we REPOST it, usually, without thinking.
It may be truth to us. But the tone and manner of delivery is rude and uncalled for. But it makes us and our friends feel good. YEAH! TAKE THAT ENEMY! Really? We repost it and feel like our membership card for whatever group the post is validating has been stamped. There is no discussion. Only ranting and name calling.
Social media is like that sibling that starts fights between his other siblings for fun.
And sometimes, it doesn’t have to be truth at all. As in this year’s political climate, just throw something out that makes the candidate look bad and, by the time they prove it wrong, the election will be over. And we play into to it without facts or investigation.
That’s why I keep people on my feed that I absolutely disagree with. That’s right. I keep them there, because their civil (most of the time) and they propose ideas and ideologies that I do not. Shocking, I KNOW! As a christian, conservative, straight, white male, I have people on my feed that support Abortion although I value all lives, are of a myriad of sexual persuasions, do NOT believe in God and are down right what some would call liberal and socialist. And, I interact with them. Not on a daily basis, mind you. But, when the moment calls for it, I will suppose a question or state what I see as a fact that is usual. Do all accept my comments friendly? Nope. And I’m careful about where and when I state my opinion. The internet is NOT a safe place…unless you hide in the bunker of social media and never venture out.
Because, if you do, we will get more of what we’re seeing on all medias.
STOP just REPOSTing anything that makes you feel good and think about it. Is it totally factual? Is it striking a proper tone? Does it invite discussion? Do YOU invite discussion? Are you open minded enough to discuss anything rationally?
VENTURE out into the sunlight, once in a while, and listen to what other people have to say. And take it all in before you go off on them. It’s about discussion and understanding, not winning. Research a point. Educate yourself outside your little circle. Check out the websites you’re repeating before just accepting everything they say because the headline sounds good. And, sometimes (just sometimes) end a discussion with ‘we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.’ Novel, right?
Ok, after an election, I know this is like two people who have spent months bad mouthing each other trying to decide to get along. Because…well…it is just like that.
But people on both sides have got to calm down and start treating people like their important to you. Because they should be. You don’t have to be buddies, but you have learn how to have a discussion calmly and logically. If you can’t see eye to eye, it doesn’t have to get to the point of trying to dehumanize and destroy the opponent. We’re a Republic and we have a system that, believe it or not, is working much like it did when we voted George Washington in. That’s incredible! Sides win. Sides loose. But the most important thing is that we stay a land united by logic and laws.
Now, go out there and hug the enemy…ok, not going to happen. But, at least, just try and get along. And it starts with living among them. And that means on the internet too.
The video below includes opinions I do not share. But his synopsis of why the Dems lost is spot on and relevant to what I’m talking about.