Whenever there is an argument, we tend to take sides. Just before making crass personal attacks, we recce the war-zone, find our team and huddle together.
After this, logic and facts are given the silent treatment. And screen-shots, name calling and doctored images are kept ready, like loaded guns, to shoot down any argument that dares make sense. Because on social media, everyone’s out to win. Not to make sense, mind you, but to win.
A fact best exemplified by our news channels. After years of getting it wrong, our media mavens have finally cracked it. Rather than arguing, they can browbeat people into submission. Going by the wars on social media, we like doing the same.
But what about the fence sitters? Well, they are hated by both sides. Their lack of bias dismissed as diplomacy. And their opinions lose all credibility. Without a side, you are a pariah, a tiny pebble in the way of a giant metal tank.
That’s exactly how I feel. None of my opinions can make any difference because I can’t pledge allegiance to one side. At best, I can reach out to fellow sceptics and retreat into the woods. Go away from the noise, the drama.
Now, even seemingly harmless topics can suddenly become polarising, triggering sloganeering and badly sung revolutionary songs. But instead of introspecting, like ancient Romans, we bay for blood. And just before the killing blow, as if on cue, our thumbs turn down. Because in a war, mercy is for the weak.
Given the present political climate, I would gladly pick a side, but apart from drunk texting my ex, I haven’t done anything ballsy. And to fight a war, you need to have a taste for danger. Might sound far-fetched, but outraging on social media has its pitfalls, since to win an argument people are plummeting towards oblivion, losing all sense of decency.
Being less-militant about my views, I’d suggest talking it out, or a blunt, or maybe both. But yes, I guess just talking sounds too neutral to work. After all, we do love the fireworks.