What follows is something generic I wrote in response to pretty much every “fake news” article, every hateful meme, every one-sided and uninformed thing that any of my friends ever expressed or posted online. …and when I write ‘friends’, you have to know that I kept a pretty tightly curated list of folks I socialized with online before taking my leave of mainstream social media networks all together. So, these are people I was close with, not just “some dude I knew in middle school” or whatever. Anyway…
Let me start by stating that I know you to be a kind, loving and compassionate person. Unfortunately, you’re also ignorant. WAIT WHAT THE HECK?!? It’s critical to understand that “ignorant” doesn’t mean “unintelligent”. It only means uninformed or, in this specific case, incompletely informed. I truly don’t mean it as an insult. We’re all guilty of formulating and expressing opinions based on incomplete information. I do it all the time.
Everyone is entitled to form their own opinions and, for the most part, they’re entitled to openly and freely express those opinions. It doesn’t matter whether that’s verbal expression or the somewhat more passive tactic of endorsing a controversial meme on social media. You and I are free to formulate and express our opinions however we see fit. I’m going to do that now, and I sincerely hope you will give my opinion at least as much thought as I gave yours before posting this.
I appreciate that your opinion is the product of the information you have consumed so far. The thing is, that information is incomplete. You cannot possibly form a realistic opinion by consuming such 1-sided information. The “news” sources you view may not lie, but I guarantee you, they omit relevant facts in order to present information that only supports their own theories. Next you have begun seeking out other sources that re-affirm that opinion and even re-sharing/re-posting articles and memes to create an echo-chamber that builds what is called confirmation bias (google it, I won’t’ bore you with it here).
You and I may disagree on things. Disagreement can be a good thing. When two smart and informed people disagree, often it allows BOTH to broaden their understanding. When we allow ourselves to re-post, endorse and spout off the opinions of others, we become their puppets. When an otherwise intelligent person begins clinging to an uninformed opinion and actively dismissing facts in order to remain in a bubble, respect erodes, friendships end, bitterness festers and hatred takes root. Throughout all of human history, no good has ever come from an uninformed society… but certainly anger and war have right?
Please, I beg of you, take a step back and you’ll see. Deliberately seek out opposition to the viewpoints you’re consuming and you’ll start to see that ALL of our current sources are attempting to influence you instead of simply relaying facts. Then, once you are free of their bubble, seek out the facts, consume a broad array of viewpoints as much as you can before formulating your own opinion. I’m not talking about wild, unfounded conspiracy theories… I’m talking about hard, verifiable facts. Try to resist the influence of media predictions, theories and opinions. Once you start looking, you’ll see that for every “study” there’s another one that reaches an opposing conclusion… For every “statistic”, there’s multiple interpretations. You’ll see, I now you will, because I know you… I care about you and I like to think you care about me enough to broaden your perspective.
Once you do, I’m certain you will see that here, in this specific instance, you were wrong.
Unfortunately, I’m long-winded… so nobody was ever gonna read that… in fact, I bet nobody is reading this right now… I wrote it and posted it for me… like throwing a letter to the wind.
Thanks, I feel better now.