The great, unexpected benefit that Facebook provides us with today is a view of the alarmingly simplistic thinking patterns of a great many people. I’m not referring to abjectly poor taste—the pictures of wounds, illness, and use of gratuitious profanity—but rather to the bases behind people’s opinoins and self-worth. Facebook is a huge vanity (“excessive pride in one’s self”) publishing platform, with no editing or moderation.
So we find people with little knowledge of history contorting events. There is allegiance to silly comparisons and trite examples (e.g., comparing the complex, pluralistic U.S. to Denmark). But worst, perhaps, is the polarization of views. It seems to me that people are not ever in a mindframe to be persuaded. They are red or blue, up or down, in or out—but never simply observing and trying to decide what’s actually best or right (or even true).
I visit Facebook daily for a few minutes, and post there, sometimes to share family photos, and sometimes to vent with someone who is deep into conspiracy theories about big pharma, or Wall Street, or the CIA (I believe deep-seated conspiracy worries are the result of paranoia). It’s a sign of our times, a forced egalitarianism, where everyone believes their opinion is the right one.
Of course, that’s just my opinion.
The experience of the human race indicates strongly that the only person in abundant supply is the universal incompetent.
– Peter Drucker
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