Today I started to think about how people work to change others viewpoint on any particular topic. The more I thought about it, the more scared I got.
Way back when,you know like a short 14 or so years ago before the age of social media, when someone disagreed with the way you saw something you did one of three things.
1) You had it out. Face to face let the other person know your view point. If neither talked about it to anyone else and no one else was around, no one knew you argued.
2) You decided to let it go and maybe vented to another person about it for a day or two and either held it against the person never seeing them again or you let it go. Again…unless someone was there to witness it, other than the person you vented too, no one was wiser.
3) It was clear there would never be a middle ground and you let it go.
Now days it is so much different and with that in mind, I fear what my little boy and his generation are being left with as tools of persuasion and education to others viewpoint.
I am always amazed at people who come up to me and say “did you SEE what *insert name here* posted on Facebook the other day? ” or “did you SEE the picture they posted on snapchat or ‘the gram’?” In these situations it is usually about a particular topic that is being heavily debated or is highly controversial.
These are the conversations our children will inevitably begin to have with their friends. And the next scene of this situation is what really scares me.
You see once someone has made their view point made, people either jump on the bandwagon or try to pull people off. And when they try to get people’s attention who are on the bandwagon it isn’t just a simple gesture of “come with me, please” or “I have a different idea, would you like to hear it?” No, now days we post furiously about how ridiculous the other viewpoint is. How could anyone be SO STUPID. We not only trash the other idea, we trash the person in the process. And in watching someone jump on the bandwagon or an idea different than yours, imagine being yelled at and having things thrown at you as to encourage you to get off the bandwagon. It would make anyone hold on tighter.
People post things that go “viral” with millions of views calling people out and making a point to belittle them to feel only an inch tall. All this with some thought, even if it is a long shot, to get the other side to change their mind.
I don’t know about you, but when someone is belittling me, I tend to shut down. Not because I don’t like the person or want to hear them, I just do. I think many people do. But then we start up again and we start to fight for ourselves. Unsure as to why we have to but we do. This is how the world is now days.
It is rare to sit and be asked questions about how you feel so the other person can atleast hear your side and why you feel the way you do but then to think of asking questions yourself to learn about the other side for you…it just does not happen.
The other day, while talking to a co-worker, I mentioned how we learned something new the other day about a system we work with. And I said “You learn something new every day, right?” And her response was perfect. She said, “If you are lucky.”
I sat at my desk and thought to myself she is right. We are lucky if we get to learn something new every day. It is sad to think that many do not. Not because they can’t but because they refuse too.
When I looked at Aaron today, I wanted to apologize to him. The world we are leaving him with baffles me. It isn’t about providing more valuable information to your viewpoint, it is slamming the other side. And as the society continues this way, I know one little boy who will do different. He will ask questions to understand. Provide data to back up his viewpoint and then in the end THANK the person who heard him and taught him something new for the day.