Just A Thought

Remember a few elections ago when bumper stickers were all the rage? You saw them on nearly every car! And, if it wasn’t a bumper sticker, it was the yard sign. Seems today it’s more about the social media posts. Why is that? Is it because it’s more efficient? You don’t have to physically hammer in a sign or peel off a bumper sticker. But, is it more than that? Do people have less filter online because it can be deleted, or even better, you don’t have to deal with the blow back in person.

Also, isn’t it interesting why people have such a need to persuade you politically over the Internet? Why is that? You could say it’s like a team sport, but you don’t have Lakers, Tiger Woods, or Patriots fans trying to get you to join their squad of fans. You could say it’s because they’re passionate about their ideology and believe you should join them, but you don’t see Jews, Muslims, or Christians actively trying to convert you on the Internet or through the use of yard signs and bumper stickers. So for real. Why is it?

Why is this such a thing? We all share recipes, Netflix shows, and vacation tips, but no one is relentless in their pursuit of persuasion. But when it comes to Medicare For All or Build The Wall, I bet you know exactly where all your followers stand. Again, what’s the point?

It’s such a strange cultural observation. Now, I am hardly innocent. I obviously write, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t hoping to persuade. But, I also write. It’s kind of my thing. Others literally parade around the Internet as if they are writers stalking you. I really can’t explain why this phenomenon occurs. It’s pretty odd and really has no place in our society. Convincing you of my personal political beliefs likely doesn’t move society in a better direction. It’s not as if politics is the best display of morality. And that goes for both sides of the aisle.

Humans do like to persuade. In recent decades, the persuasion moved to politics and away from religion. But, history shows we were far from kind when trying to persuade others on our religious beliefs. Maybe this really is an anthropological component of us as a society. Nonetheless, if that’s the case, the medium has changed. When we once used in-person dialogue, confrontation, and even physical altercations to discuss these two pillars of who we are, we have now reverted to typing. And often, what we type is a few characters accompanied by a link we didn’t read, pedaled from a media company with an agenda, citing loosely sourced hearsay as facts. Or, we simply post a meme that’s rooted in fallacies.

So, is it better we aren’t on the battlefield like we were during the Christian Crusades? Of course. But, there is an appropriate middle ground for the pendulum. It’s probably time it swings back into the middle, where we discuss ideas in person like adults with actual data to back up our case. What a concept.

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