Initially, I started this blog because I wanted to start a discussion, or create a resource.
I was sick of the insular Tumblr politics, and sick of the prevailing dismissive attitude found everywhere else on basic concepts like body positivity, racism, and capitalism.
Every day I find a new pet peeve that I wish people would just give the time of day.
I know that if you looked at the data, heard the stories, consciously made up your mind, you’d be a happier person with a more cohesive political stance.
There wouldn’t be endless surface level debates about the contradictions of the “other side”, because we would understand each-other and our conflicting values.
So why don’t we challenge it?
1. Perhaps We Do
The internet is a shouting factory. Perhaps the loudest people are the ones who don’t understand enough to slow down, or slow down enough to understand. Meanwhile, the silent 80% are wise; comparing the contrasting views and building educated viewpoints.
But to evidence this, we can’t look at comments or content, because they are from those who shout. We could compare the views on strongly opinionated sites, perhaps work out a way to measure what audiences are being reached. But what does it matter, if the shouting class dominates anyway?
2. The Internet Isn’t the Place
Perhaps the internet as a medium is a place of showing, not telling, so naturally shows us the strongest views. Mediocre or un-opinionated sites aren’t likely to get strong responses either way, they will naturally sink to the bottom. The internet belongs to the bold, it’s for the rest of us to make up our minds in meat-space, a more nuanced reality.
3. We Don’t Want To
Although it’s the right thing to look at disgusting, challenging, unpleasant content and work out why we reject it, it’s still disgusting. It’s almost intolerable to give up our precious click to this internet racist, to give our mind-space to their foul and humanity-denying theories and beliefs. It’s likely equally foul to listen to this smug SJW with stupid reality-denying and fantastical, almost totalitarian beliefs, when there’s a real world to deal with.
I think increasingly it’s this last point*.
We are naturally closed-minded because it is easier, and because we are close minded, we believe it is easier to be close minded, reinforcing our own beliefs. So how does anyone break through this catch-22, and make it worthwhile to challenge ourselves?
Please let me know what you think in the comments, and check out Part 2!
Next: Can We Make Them Understand?
*Note: I’m biased, but it was way easier to find people whining about social justice than about facism…let me know in the comments if I was searching wrong!