Have the arts of conversation & discussion been lost in today's tech driven society?
Are we as a society just "Amusing Ourselves to Death?" Have we been caught in the Orwellien fears of "big brother's" control of our thoughts. Or is it more like that of a Huxleian surrender, where we are so thrilled by the conveniences we have gained that we willing give our thoughts over. Are we, as a society so engrossed in ourselves, our pleasures, our escape from the everyday that we would allow it to program and control our thoughts?
Do you think for yourself? Are the opinions & beliefs you hold as true your own or did you come to them by way of family, friends, educators, the media, ect... Do you understand how to think for yourself? Do you know how to research to find your truths? Have you been told where to look or even what questions to ask? Or are you truly content accepting other's thoughts as your own?
Accepting others beliefs as your own without doing your own research is simply ludicrous & quite lazy. A belief structure, your belief structure, is worth the time & investment required to insure what you stand for truly resonates within you & you wholly understand what it means to you. Don't just accept what you're told, you don't have to share the same beliefs as your friends or your family. Search for your truth. Find the ideals that make sense to you & that you have no hesitation in supporting.
It is peculiar how many do not understand that most media, including the news, is for entertainment purposes. Designed to keep you watching in order to capitalize on your viewership. Broadcast news, especially, is designed in such a way it keeps you tuned in & engaged in an effort to keep the viewership as high as possible at all times. Broadcast news can be a great starting point for information, but it is notorious for the 7-second segment. You can only get an abridged version of anything in that amount of time. If something you see strikes a cord or stirs a feeling try to look into it deeper before forming an absolute opinion.
Print media is by far a better vetted source of information on news headlines & stories. Of course you want to be sure to use reputable & non-bias sources when researching further into stories that move you. The Associated Press & the New York Times are two of the country's most reputable non-biased sources. If you do use a source that is biased try to ensure you find information supporting the other side of the story as well. This will allow you to compare viewpoints & opinions before forming your own.
It may be hard, for some, to aquire or have access to reputable news sources. Some may also not know the differences in the basis presented. For those that do, it is imperative that you educate yourself so that your beliefs, understanding & knowledge can be shared with others who may not be able to find it for themselves. By being informed, by being able to speak on your beliefs & truths you will be able to help others obtain information that was limited to them before. Yes, your beliefs & opinions may be biased but at least they are educated. In the sharing of educated opinions & beliefs it helps to create a stronger culture of informed thinkers than blind believers.
Don't let others think for you, use your resources, don't be afraid to explore your own self derived beliefs. Do not be surprised if they change as you age. Be open to change when necessary, fluidity is a charactertrait we can not afford to be stingy with. Most importantly, be respectful of other's opinions, even ones you might not agree with, it shows strength in your convictions when you are able to listen. It also allows you to see a new perspective on a topic or belief you may have never considered. Try to remain respectful of others even if they disrespect you. Being able to listen with the desire to understand doesn't give you the right to render back onto someone their misunderstandings. Being the bigger person allows you to walk away knowing you didn't compromise yourself to state your opinions or beliefs.
There are no longer enough conversations or in person discussions anymore. It truly seems he art of two-way conversation has been lost. Many, with the influence of social media, feel their opinions are the only ones that matter & are true. Opinions are generally based on feelings & perceptions, not on the facts. It a coversation there is a back and forth, a give & take sharing of ideas, opinions & beliefs. However, the world of 160 chataters or less, memes, gifs & email have almost rendered conversations dead. There is no voice inflection, no body language, no etiquette of speaking because the speaking part of our communication has been removed. This must change, we must look up & see for ourselves what we have around us to lose... better yet, to gain.
Be open to listening to understand not just to respond, as well as being able to present your side clearly & without contempt. This could be the key to how we will change the the current social climate. Perhaps reduce stress, anxieties, social phobias & more... There is so much we are missing in our world of digital amusement, so much lost by not being present & speaking, words have meaning in print but more so when spoken. It is that spoken truth, the sharing of ideas, truths & beliefs that is missing right now. It very well may be the key to recovering more than just our ability to relate to others, it may begin to heal a generation plagued by unseen attackers.
We have two ears as well as two eyes, but only one mouth... Therefore we must research & listen twice as hard as we speak. Be informed before you believe or inform. 💚