Our world today allows us to create our own skewed version of reality. Social media, every single day, throwing anything and everything that we already agree with in our faces, and news feeds making us feel superior and right. How can I be wrong? I’ve been blasted by twenty-two articles in a span of ten minutes showing my opinions as fact at this point.
I put myself into check sometimes with reminders that this also applies to me. It’s not easy to keep an open mind and truly listen to ideas that push against what has been smothering you since Facebook and other social media outlets started targeting their audiences with sponsored content. Your entire social media existence is warped, and that’s why we feel so strongly about issues – it’s being fed to us on a silver platter. Sure, it’s warped to your liking – but that’s the problem.
Healthy debate is a treat nowadays. I have a hard time finding a person with opposing viewpoints to have a sensible conversation with; to explain, in a normal tone of voice, why they feel a certain way and then allowing me to do the same. Believe it or not, when I express myself, I enjoy a (respectful) contradictory remark. I cross my fingers and hope that this person hasn’t been bitten by the social media bug. That maybe, just maybe, a respectable, low-key exchange of opinions is possible.
The vast majority of humans who utilize social media would rather pump their fists and bang their chests, knowing that you won’t jump on their bandwagon. The opposing viewpoint does not matter, whoever says theirs the loudest wins – and they still hate each other.
We used to debate, we used to try to be open-minded to differing opinions. Not anymore, because we don’t even care enough to educate ourselves, let alone other people. It’s too easy. Fake news is real news, and real news doesn’t stand a chance. The speed at which information gets relayed to and from is faster than we, as a world, can keep up with… and that will be our demise.
It used to be common conversation to imply that everyone was entitled to their own opinion without pure madness erupting. That was fun. Suddenly, no one is listening. No one is interested as to why their neighbor voted the way they did, why they are choosing to not vaccinate their children, why they are for, or against gun reform. Instead of instantly judging, if we could take the time to just ask, why.
We would be in such a better place if healthy debates were still a common occurrence. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, white, black, Mexican, Catholic, Atheist, young, old – this reality we live in affects us all in a range of different ways, but here we are.
Next time you’re in a position to have a real conversation with someone who doesn’t look at the world the same way you do, take it and embrace it. Listen to what is being said and respect that even if our ideas are polar opposites that we’re still human beings, coexisting.