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 🙂