I was originally thinking of writing the title: Holding Your Tongue but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t so much about Holding Your Tongue as it was telling people what they want to hear in the social media sphere.
I Agree With You
Many years ago, when social media and blogs and news websites and – let’s just call it what it is – the Internet, in general, were young and new and shiny, it was predicted that people would simply gravitate to sites that reinforced what they already believed or knew or thought.
Oh! That couldn’t be true. After all, the Internet would provide such a wide array of diverse thought, opinion, knowledge, news, etc. ad nauseum that people would naturally be better informed and more widely read and more “well rounded” (a favorite term from my liberal arts college days).
People are attracted to their kindred spirits.
If you think too many Mexicans are crossing the border taking good American jobs, you probably listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and love Sarah Palin.
If you think the Government ought to do something about runaway health care costs or the shenanigans on Wall Street you read the Huffington Post and listen to Keith Olbermann.
…and you probably don’t do much to get a different perspective. It hurts too much and it just makes you mad.
You’re Right (….Your’re Right….You’re Right)
This came home as a slap upside my head, recently, when I added what, I thought, was a friendly but different point of view on someone’s Facebook status. I had noticed that this particular status update seemed to have a lot of echoes from other friends (not necessarily “mutual” friends). So I added a different perspective in, what I thought, was a short and friendly way. You know. All social like.
One of the “mutual” friends actually e-mailed me off Facebook to tell me where to get off the bus. It seems I really didn’t know the whole story with all the gory details and even if I did, I was wrong and blah, blah, blah.
Are Sycophants A Good Thing?
Dealing with negative comments or comments that disagree with your blog post or status update may not be the most agreeable thing. But do you really want to be told you’re always right and virtuous no matter what? Who will call your bluff when you’re just fishing for compliments or sympathy? Who will call your bluff when you don’t have your facts straight?
The sad part of all of this is that those who would add a different perspective or a new point of view get shut down and then shut out. We don’t like those kind of people. They’re not our kind of people.
And, thus, the segregation we eschew in real life, we embrace in our online world.
I’d be interested in your point of view or experiences with online diversity. Go ahead. Tell me what you really think!