Unfriended

2020 has been filled with controversy. Unfortunately much of it stems from politics. Rather than civilized debate, most of the discourse is limited to blind allegiance to political affiliations or other arbitrary allegiances. In light of that, I’ve seen a lot of people invite others to “unfriend” or “unfollow” due to their exhaustion with the unproductive arguments they are having on social media. On one hand, I think that a person’s mental health should come first, so it might be a good idea to limit access to these frustrating situations. On the other hand, if you can bare it, don’t give in.

Those people in your timeline proclaiming “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter” or other irrelevant nonsense likely live mostly in an echo chamber. They only listen to arguments that support their reality. Most of the time it may feel like you are talking to a wall, a wall fortified by various conspiracy theories concocted by their favorite news channel. Give them something to chew on. Remind them that there are some intelligent people in the world who think differently, but be tactful about it.

To be able to say “I disagree with you, so I will block you out of my life” is a privileged position. Victims of systemic racism can’t just cut out racism of their life with a click of a button. And I can almost guarantee that person could not care less whether or not you are friends with them on social media. If anything your retreat may strengthen their resolve and also removes another voice of opposition in their narrative. Plus, you are now yourself moving closer towards an echo chamber, which limits your ability to make well-reasoned arguments.

Breaking down the wall starts with a crack, and that crack has to start somewhere. Why not with you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s