We have lost civility in our disagreement
In the last presidential election, I witnessed things that troubled me deeply. I saw people on Social Media, who would otherwise be respectful and civil towards one another, be very vitriolic against those who disagreed with them.
Social media has given a license to mob mentality thinking. It also has put pressure on those of different opinions to conform or be labeled, “stupid”, “loser”, or even “traitor” if they are of the same tribe so to speak. People of a more genteel and quiet nature feel intimidated to even have a different thought, because after all, the one who yells the loudest has to be right.
What has happened to healthy dialogue that listens to other opinions without some judgmental railings? Disagreement should never degenerate into demonization. We don’t have to be a culture of conformists, but we also don’t have to be a culture of crass, crude commentary on things we don’t like.
Another danger of Social Media commentary is the lack of fact checking. Truth goes out the window when someone we like claims their comment is accurate. Have they checked their facts? Do they cite objective sources? These questions are crucial if we read something presented as gospel.
People should never fear the truth. Jesus said it well: “you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” If we truly want freedom, then what we see posted on Social Media should reflect the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Opinion is valid, as long as it is labeled as opinion. But even then, the greater good will be served if the opinion is truthful, thoughtful, and civil.