Here in Canada we’re days away from a federal election..
The Conservatives and the Liberals (the two major parties) are very close in the polls and it looks like we’re heading towards a minority government (where the party with most seats in parliament is outnumbered by the other parties combined).
I’m not going to discuss platforms or anything like that in this post.
Instead I’m going to talk about how those of us who are active in politically related forums and social media can get trapped in our own little fish bowls.
By that I mean that many of us are not exposed to a balance of opinions.
We get bombarded with memes and posts about how the other guy is an idiot and a danger to the country and they’ll ruin (or did ruin) the economy and blah blah, oh yeah VETERANS!!!!
I have friends who support “the other guy” and often post things that are attacks on “my guy”.
I usually just scroll past these because I don’t want to engage, out of a fear of things getting heated.
With people I don’t know personally I have a variety of tactics. This is the part where I’d love to tell you that I approach each negative comment I choose to address with kindness, wisdom and compassion.
Yeah, that doesn’t happen. I’ll admit that I gleefully point out flaws in their logic, post sources that debunk whatever “facts” they are peddling..
…and they do the same to me.
I was wondering how the hell people who I know are intelligent, rational adults could buy some of the obviously false rumours floating around about “my guy” when it hit me…they’re bombarded by information that supports their world view.
Ditto for those of us on the other side of the debate.
Its how social media works. They show you posts and stories that will keep you engaged.
Its how the Russians influenced the 2016 US Presidential Election.
So I guess what I’m saying is that when forming opinions in arenas as potentially divisive as politics, make a conscious decision to gather information from a broad spectrum of sources.
I’m going to google “Positive stories about ‘the other guy'”.
I’m convinced I won’t get anything….because my Facebook and Twitter feeds said so.