They can make friends out of polar opposites and enemies out of peanut butter & jelly. I’ve spent sometime thinking about this recently. Social tensions were sky-high in the UK during the Brexit vote while it has been reported that family and friends are falling out in the US over the current election. It might come across as if though we are more sensitive than ever before, but I’m starting to wonder if this has its fault not just in the current state of affairs but also in our social media usage.
Continuously and unapologetically you are indirectly confronted by opposing political and religious views through what your online connections are sharing and liking. Let’s say that you are a firm believer in socialism and the agenda of the left’s political parties. You believe that higher taxes on the rich and/or corporate will fuel social reform in order to create more equality in terms of opportunities. You believe that the “state” will reinforce whatever legislation that is necessary in order to protect the rights of the people and that the bureaucrats will be an un-compromising wall between capitalists trying to gain control over natural resources that in your opinion should either belong to the people or nobody at all. You firmly believe that corporatism and big business is the greatest evil on earth, that privatisation is Satan incarnate and that only a humongous government can ensure justice. This justice would theoretically only be valid if it is on a global level, as a patriotic charitable nature would mean “discrimination” towards other cultures, which could be abstractly translated as racism.
Let’s say that these are your political leanings and that you feel strongly about this. People are emotional about the future that might await their children and most people probably feel that morality guides their leanings. The irony is that all sides feel this way. The starting point is the same, we simply disagree in regards to the measures that would get us to a subjective ideal point, where the future of our nation and/or the world would be in a better place.
If you feel that privatisation will result in the obliteration of the planet there is a high probability that you would feel quite emotional whenever you encounter opinions that disagree with this. You care about the future, you are naturally worried, problem is, you’ll be confronted indirectly by “global warming/global climate change-deniers” just by logging into your own private social media account. No longer will your realisation of other people’s leanings be limited to face-to-face discussions, you’ll form your own impression of the individual’s beliefs based on nothing but their online activity. This will fuel prejudices from any side and countless facepalm moments as you cringe at other’s “un-educated nature”.
This is the underlying issue with opinions. We are all surrounded by propaganda. News stories and articles that are twisted and worded in certain ways, as the author tries to desperately manoeuvre any potential reader in the “right direction”according to them. Where we come from as individuals, meaning our individual underlying perception of right and wrong, combined with whatever filter we perceive the world through, form our opinions.
Those on the right roll their eyes at the miss-informed,ignorant left, while the left bang their head in the wall over the un-educated, prejudiced right.
And like this we are eternally locked in a weird Tarantella dance. The infamous dance of the mad.
You always have to question where the information comes from and always bear in mind that opinions are shaped by facts that might be untrue or presented in such a fashion that our emotions get the best of us. In a highly emotional state it is reasonable to believe that we would make highly erratic decisions in order to save the future from what we believe would be destructive. The disturbing fact though is that we cannot be fully sure that we are aiming at the right culprit. We might find ourselves “executing” the innocent, burying the living. We might find ourselves in situations where what is morally right in the moment will lead to disastrous results in the future that are even more immoral.
Always question everything and never trust your own mind a 100%. Question yourself just as you question others. Your perception of reality might be completely false. Always raise questions about those that construct our perception of what “is” and what “is not”.