Upon his frustration with the usefulness of social media, specifically Twitter, a friend of mine wrote a few weeks ago, “Either my patience is thinner or there are just more and more people for whom the medium is less about bridging the gaps and more about staking out ground.” He acknowledged the foulness of the current political air, but also stated that none of that was likely to change any time soon.
More prescient he could not have been.
Tucked away in the alleys and valleys of our own interests, we stay entrenched in our own tribes, utterly outraged at any other tribe’s dis, disdain, or destruction of one of our own’s preciously held beliefs. The internet has exacerbated these conditions. Instead of more connection, there is a sense of more dis-connection. Where we are promised diversity, we get division. We burrow so deep in our own dirt that we can’t see the world as it really is: a spinning blue ball covered with tiny cells, passive plants, and dumb meat, each just trying to make its own way. Starting from from such focus, we can find ourselves in a place. We can belong at a certain level. It just feels like now we never seem to zoom out far enough to see the whole. Instead of giving us the tools to see the bigger picture, the biases of our media feed our own individual biases.
Retreat is not the answer, retreat is the problem. We need more connection, not less. Real connection. We need to engage more with those who aren’t like us. Lift the little ones, help the ones who need it, and learn as much about each other as we can.
As long as we support each other, we will be fine.