30 August 2016

Sailing Social Media's Rough Seas

Distortions Abound

How does one navigate through political or religious discussions online today?

Carefully.

Sometimes, not at all.

Boarding the ship of discussion on social media is easy enough.

Just type and click.

There is always a calm before the storm, 'they' say.

But not so in Today's instant worldwide messaging at the speed of light.

Prepare for the reverberating hurricane caused by cognitive dissonance.

Batten down the hatches and brace for wave after wave of strife.

You try sailing past the illogical rants and finger pointing by reefing your sail to lighten your wake.

You're tempted to aim cannons at the mocking comments and personal attacks.

Yet you remember:
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, 
   and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, 
   and discerning if they hold their tongues. 
- Proverbs 17: 27-28
You try to reason by raising the a white flag of peace, calling for reason and asking others to consider a glance through their telescope from another perspective, as you desire to consider theirs.

After questioning the sanity of the respondents, and also questioning your own sanity, you remember the duality found in the lesson mentioned here:
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, 
   or you yourself will be just like him. 
Answer a fool according to his folly, 
   or he will be wise in his own eyes. 
- Proverbs 26: 4-5
You realize that responding to foolish comments by making foolish comments yourself is not the way.

Doing so causes you to run the risk of becoming a foolish captain on a ship sinking quickly from foolishness.

A titanic trap.

Rather, pursue the point made by your dialogue partner, sailing along with them for a mile or so.

Explore the depths of their logical or illogical basis.

When casting out your net in search of the few factual fish among the seas of opinions believed-to-be facts, be careful not to moor to an opinion prior to exploring its validity.

Remember also to be open to learning something new, while also allowing yourself to be proven wrong.

Otherwise, this lesson is for you and not those who respond to your political and religious banter:
Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? 
   There is more hope for a fool than for them. 
- Proverbs 26: 12

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