Technology is a tool, how we use it depends on who we are as a people.
I like blogging, I like reading other bloggers. I tend to follow bloggers that have interesting stories, and points of view. The ramblers are as fine as the short and sweet. I find that I generally agree with most view opinions, though rarely in their entirety. I do follow some folks just to see the other side of the fence, because it’s good to have differing opinions.
I think I fall in line with the majority of urban Canadians in my age group, when it comes to general views. I know that my parent’s generation tends to be more fiscally conservative and less socially liberal. We tend to be fiscally conservative, and socially liberal. I do not agree with most “winged” party views, as a lack of balance on any one of those items causes a massive shift over time. The world is just too complicated to boil it down to broad statements of X will do Y. And while I live in a city in Canada, I also share the planet with 7 billion other individuals. That sense of scope makes it a really hard to get past our own personal Monkeysphere.
I used to have a large list of “friends” on Facebook, back when it was used to provide personal updates. That was replaced by Twitter. Which is replaced by a dozen other tools. I stopped using Facebook a few years ago when it became pretty clear that the feed was focused on link dropping. Most of those links were sensationalist opinion articles, that progressively got more and more out there. It became an echo chamber. And frankly, Facebook is one of the worst ways to have a debate/conversations on a topic. I kept Facebook for the contact information and group invitations, but ended up deleting it nearly 2 years ago when I realized there were better options out there. I still keep Twitter, but I’m not quite sure why. The early intent was sound, but short sound bites make for a dumb population when trying to be used as a news machine.
Finding differing view points, dissecting their arguments, and coming to your own conclusions is important. Being able to defend a position with reasonable arguments is the foundation for decision making. Arguments that include the words “any”, “all”, or “always” tend to be self-defeating, yet that’s what gets the clicks/eyes/ears.
Confirmation bias is a real thing. It narrows our potential for growth, by making us take the same decisions again, and again. A whole lot of the golden age of sci-fi was built upon this concept, of arbitrary separation between groups. From the outside, it looks ridiculous – see Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.
It’s possible for two people to have different opinions on a matter and both be correct, or both be wrong. The context and perspective of each individual matters when forming an opinion. Financial management is much different for someone with a relatively poor background vs someone with no financial burdens. I get it.
But we didn’t get to this point in history without talking to other people. Without trusting other people. If we didn’t have disagreements we’d never have seen a telescope, a lightbulb, calculus, or space exploration. Civilizations that became self-absorbed in their own righteousness rot from within. As soon as we start suspecting our neighbors, we’re already heading down that slippery slope.
And to think, we have tons of history to show us the end result of that mindset. We have much more in common with each other than differences.