Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Are you a team player or an independent thinker? That statement in and of itself positions the former in not such a flattering light which from many points of view is fairly representative of it’s attributes when applied to conversations surrounding hot topics such as social issues, politics, religion and everything nobody cares to objectively examine. You may find yourself boiling over with symptoms of self righteousness currently which is to be expected, nobody can really be sold the idea that their sense of caring holds a moral deficit because after all only you truly know how you feel; that being said I find their is a strong disconnect between how much people purport to care verses where they choose to focus their attention for some semblance of good-will. An activist you’d think would be active in their environment from the ground level up but in the digital age it seems for the most part we as a people have started entering the building from the penthouse, rarely penetrating the surface of issues which might lead us to confronting our own privileges over those we claim with such fervour to share ideals.
In the climate of today’s world we tend to have a typically modest routine of how to assess an issue accompanied with a rather shallow sense of appreciation for the complex, this often diminishes the chance for diversity among possible outcomes in a conversation and leaving just two options; either I’m right or you’re wrong. This rudimentary train of thought encourages a lack of understanding or empathy for what so easily becomes “the Otherside” and propagates today’s social structure inevitably forming much more of a divide than a sense of community, the very antithesis of how you might utilise conversation to determine what is outside the boundaries of accepted behaviour in search of a common ground.
This simplification of the world around us seems to stem from a severe inability and even unwillingness to perceive any point of view that does not support our narrative, deeply embedded in the roots of what creates so much friction among issues that consequently become the front lines of the crusades that pit ideology against ideology. Unable to afford even the mildest of courtesies to one another through simple recognition of another’s humanity we are no longer burdened by such trivialities as emotions or consequence, using innovations like social media to manufacture surrogates from screens with which we live out our virtual lives.
Fast forward to 2017 with the aid of such platforms as twitter now more than ever you don’t have to go far to find a constant wall of belligerent voices taking to their digital battleground ready to take up arms on the internet in the name of virtue, fashioned from hubris. If you apply the modern day common practice of the loudest voice is the one that claims victory to contemporary narratives you find this synthesis has given birth to arguably the most potent form of identity by association campaigning we’ve ever seen. Black Lives Matter Vs All Lives Matter, Liberal Vs Conservative, these positions are indicative of how we no longer view issues as multifaceted but instead as a sport in which your team is representative of your social-economical status and a means by which your moral constitution is defined; The Oppressed Vs The Oppressor.
With the invention of social media came the ability to give voices to the 99% as it were to those who for so long felt unheard; for the better part of human history a voice being afforded to only those with status or money, one usually a by-product of the other. While there are many reasons you may say this revolutionary way of communicating (and revolutionary it certainly is) might well be beneficial to the progression of communication overall, much like Pandora’s box where you find hope, lies despair. This very basic concept is so intrinsic to nature that you find it represented among what you might call the fundamental laws of the universe, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”; it would strike me as ignorant nigh on arrogant to not anticipate that once you have billions of voices not every voice will sing the same tune.