I Can’t Even

I read a newspaper headline yesterday parroting the words of a fringe “scientist” that the human race was well on it’s way towards extinction. I didn’t pay the article much attention, given that it was published in a newspaper that’s famous for it’s end-of-world bias (a few flakes of snow generally herald the arrival of the next ice age in their breathless reporting).

I’m not so sure they’re that far off the mark any more.

In the past 48 hours I’ve had to deal with somebody gaslighting a group of people, seen my words taken out of context, and then woke up this morning to Will Smith punching Chris Rock – which caused the world and it’s dog to weigh in on social media with their take on it.

All the drama has made me realise how much of a chip I now have on my shoulder about the way people present their opinions. It seems lots of active users of social platforms project from the point of view that everybody else must share their views – and if they do not, then they are wrong. This is all fine, and you can largely take no notice of their foaming invective – until you know they are wrong.

I remember an XKCD cartoon some time ago of somebody hunched over their computer in the early hours of the morning – being asked if they were coming to bed. They answer something along the lines of “I just have to respond to this person on the internet – because they are wrong”.

I haven’t just noticed this in social media – it goes on in all walks of life – politics, religion, peer groups – all sorts of things. It almost seems there is an unwritten contract that friendship or inclusion is predicated by shared views – no matter how twisted, fraudulent, or invented those views might be.


Quite enough for a Monday morning. I need to get on with some work. These thoughts have been burning a hole in my head all night though – so better to get them out. Feel free to ignore 🙂

10 replies on “I Can’t Even”

I blame politics. We used to be able to agree to disagree and still remain friends. Now? You pick a side and stay there while bad mouthing anyone who holds an opinion that differs from your own. Remember debate society where you chose to argue the opposing view? Good times.

Liked by 2 people

Hollywood is simply another place where people are allowed to behave badly. This behavior is exacerbated by the publicity it receives. I would never attempt to engage anyone on social media – where faceless, people-less names spout opinions as bizarre as the situation that affronted them.

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I did find myself wondering how decision making process goes for law enforcement – when actual bodily harm, or assault is witnessed by millions, but they don’t do anything unless the other person wants to.

Liked by 1 person

I’ve tried a number of times, in the past few years, to be respectful or engage in respectful conversation about politics and other world happenings on social media. However, I have been frustrated by the number of people who want to fight over the perception that they are right. I lost a friend a couple of years ago because of her willingness to pick a fight with me over politics. We have lost the art of civil discourse and the human race seems to be running backwards in how we behave with one another. I don’t know hiw to fix that other than to be a person who doesn’t engage in that behavior.

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I read an article years ago about the rise of “fanboyism” among the video game crowd – with people who bought one machine trying to prove that it was better than another machine (think Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, etc). The argument was described in terms of being “defence of self”, and suddenly it all made sense. I know when my kids were little they would often dig a hole for themself, and not know how to get out of it – so would sulk, rant, rave, or whatever. It would appear lots of adults continue doing it – especially entitled ones.

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I read a great article last year about cognitive dissonance, that talked about how when we have firm beliefs, it’s difficult to back away from them, even with solid proof to the contrary. Human nature is interesting and scary, isn’t it?

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Very well put. I stop using Facebook for this very reason. People ATTACK you for having a different opinion. And once someone starts arguing, the rest of the “bullies” take it upon themselves to chime in, even if your opinion is more popular. Example, I defended a cat that was being abused. 4K people gave me a “thumb’s up” but then I got a couple hundred cat haters attacking my opinion, saying the most disgusting things. I get it, not everyone loves cats, but to say crazy things like “drown that cat” or make up stories that the woman wasn’t abusing the cat, when she clearly was is insane. People go as far as “changing history” or facts just to be RIGHT. Society has become so ego-driven, it’s bizarre. Over the weekend my husband and I were driving through a town with many historic buildings. It led me to ponder, “I wonder what people from back then would think of the world today?” My husband said, “They would say, ‘I’m glad I’m dead.'” Sadly, I have to agree that they would say that!

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