We all “Like” it. Each of us derive a level of pleasure whenever someone “Like”s our photo, quote, or entry. In fact, I would like it very much if you “Like”d this post.
The culture of “Like”ing things that we agree with has resulted in several dangerous realities:
- We end up reading only those articles and ideas that already agree with what we believe
- The computer algorithms that regulate what shows up on our feed weed out those posts we disagree with, and only shows us those things that we already agree with
- The end result is we end up only seeing things we already agree with
The result is frightening.
Our growth as a culture and a people of ideas is stunted. It prevents us from having to wrestle with ideas, concepts, beliefs that are different than our own. But that is precisely how we grow and mature.
As a result, our society loses her ability to dialogue and discuss important issues. All we know how to do is to attack and disparage those we disagree with.
But the thing about pretty much any issue that’s important – gender roles, gun control, sexual identity, the war against terrorism, mental illness, the homeless, etc. – is that important issues have multiple perspectives and opinions. It is only by listening to and learning from differing views that we grow and gain a greater understanding. Thus, by living in a world where everyone already agrees with us, we have lost the ability to dialogue, learn, and grow.
So, I propose that we intentionally read ideas from news sites and web pages that we disagree with. Seek those out.
I propose that we engage in thoughtful, respectful conversations with people we disagree with…in person…over coffee…over beer…over a meal. Don’t do it on Facebook. Don’t do it by email. Don’t do it by texting. Have a real conversation, face to face.
If so, go ahead and click on that “Like” button!