Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trump Versus Clinton..behind the headlines

Have you ever changed your opinion about something based on some graphic or two line message?
Do you share a graphic or write a two line message expecting to change someone's opinion?
Has any "discussion" on social media left you feeling "enlightened" to the point of changing your opinion about something?
Mostly what we post on social media lacks context. It's more like the headline or the soundbite. The full story is missing. Sometimes there's a link to something more but mostly context is missing. Add to that the lack of human connection - inflection, facial expression, fluid response - and we are left with a flat, one dimensional communication. Humor especially falls flat.
Recently someone posted that anyone sharing an opinion on Facebook should be prepared to defend their opinion so they could learn something. In light of the perspective noted above, I found it somewhat humorous. So, I simply replied "Why?" The humor was lost in the medium and caused a bit of a stir. (I left them all hanging as I've learned that explanations also typically fall flat.)
We need to talk to one another more - actually talk - face to face. And we especially need to talk with each other more to understand the complexities of issues. We are gentler and kinder when the person is right in front of us. We draw from the inflection of voice, expression, body language and fluidity of response. We're more likely to lighten up and seek common ground. We are more likely to find solutions. That's what we need to do as a society. Work through it. Roll up our sleeves and do the work needed to hear one another and to understand the context and complexities behind the issues we face.
Giving this a suggestive headline will get more people to read it. My actual goal is to get us to start caring about each other and actually talking. Then we may start making change happen in a meaningful way.

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