Something I have been thinking about lately is how substantially our interactions are impacted by the narratives created on issues. I feel like as a society we have hit a point of collapse in how we disseminate information. The outlets we use to be informed have financial and political interests in framing situations to push objectives and socially we are becoming tribal in a sense, speaking in communities that support group held ideology's.
I was speaking with some people last week about the Rittenhouse situation and the more I looked at it the more I saw how the media voiced narrative impacted our views. In spite of shooting 3 white guys theres a lot of opinion that he is a racist. In spite of working as a lifeguard in the town and his father living there there is a widely held belief that he traveled to the city as an outsider.
Im not trying to get into the Rittenhouse stuff. But just using those bits as examples. Maybe there is some parallel to how rumors naturally gain traction in social interactions but its very notable how prevalent it is. How situations immediately become polarized and how even when you dig for the truth its just so hard to find objective information. We live in a day where political interests are even capable of convincing masses of people that our elections are stolen resulting in violent riots.
Im curious how everyone trys to counter this. Or even how many people take steps to try to counter this. These toxic rhetoric's result in a very real cost in our society and even in the people we get close to. Socially if someone tried to convince you that your girlfriend was cheating on you with the goal of splitting you up you might want to fight them. But how can you fight institutions that exist to profit from fostering division and hatred? Why is there such little accountability for spreading lies and how can we even insulate ourselves from this toxicity?
On the Rittenhouse thing I probably spent 5 or 6 hours digging after it happened and I still had truckloads of misconceptions. Between misinformation campaigns and our inability to break away from our established ideology's it just makes it so easy for conversations to go badly. Even understanding our own bias and how it causes us to jump to support misinformation is just so hard to recognize, much less counter. Im curious if there is some metacognitive process that could be used to counter this and if there is some social skill that could mitigate its impact. Or even if others see it as such a substantial issue on the macro and micro levels of our lives.
The majority of people need to stop watching the news, get off the internet, and just enjoy life.
For the most part, if you get to know your neighbours and co-workers a bit more and look past their political affiliations, you'll find that they're decent people that you can have a beer with and even invite them to your BBQs.
The problem is the internet, specifically social media, that is driving this vitriol and hate towards one another because suddenly a bunch of uninformed people and armchair experts suddenly have access to a giant megaphone for everyone to hear. And the problem has gotten worse in recent years because traditional media has amplified these people's messages by quoting social media for cheap reactions all in order to save on production costs (but that's another story for another time).
Naturally, it's absolutely entertaining watching Americans, and everyone else learning from Americans, tear each other apart with the advent of the social media. Everything is so hyper-politicized these days that even shit like CRT, which has traditionally only been taught in law schools, is making rounds in the public social media consciousness - this forum dedicated to a niche minigame included.
I strongly believe that people, who are not experts in the field they're talking about, need to focus on shutting the fuck up and just let the experts do the talking. To think otherwise is a dangerous mixture of arrogance, narcissism, and consequential dangers. The only way societies are going to survive this tsunami of culture wars will unfortunately be time over generations. People and their old ideas will have to die out so that the new ideas will take over. The alternative will be a totalitarian government.