I wouldn’t categorize myself as Liberal or Conservative. I believe, probably like most, aligning yourself to one political party leaves no room for growth or independent thought. But in truth I lean a bit more to the left then right. However, this past year I’ve come to realize that most people (at least on social media) lack this independent thought and it’s taken a toll on me. Because of this I’ve resolved to stop arguing with people on Facebook. But before you say, “I’m just stating the obvious” or “probably the same reason I don’t” Let me dig a little deeper into the issues at hand.
Ever notice how easy it is to spot a fake news story? (I understand the buzz words of “Fake News” but please bare with me) It literally can take a few minutes to spot that it’s fake. It frustrates me to no end how often people just believe what they read. My attempts at educating people on how to spot the ‘fake news’ is how my online arguing started out. Very innocently, attempting to help others see when they were being duped. I used to read an outrageous posting (which had some obviously photoshopped picture), I would point out the obvious and end it off (when possible) with a link to Snopes.com stating it was false. Many of us relied on Snopes and this was noticed by a right-wing group. The group decided to take action and this is how they retaliated:
I probably would have dismissed it but when a Facebook friend posted it, I took notice. Before I proceed, let’s sit here for a bit. By targeting Snopes and ‘discrediting’ them, they’ve equipped the extreme right with a quick little comeback link. So when some of these so-called site/pages can add any story they want and if anyone points out their “fake news” while posting the Snopes link to discrete them, they can reference the above. Did you hear…..
“Trump Donates His Entire $400,000 Salary to Rebuild Military Cemeteries, why isn’t this on the news?”
Well because it’s not true according to Snopes.com. Now the retort will be “Snopes is 100% and is run by the left-wing media”. How can I possible argue this? Snopes has posted about the fake article above found here https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-snopes-busted-ties-to-soros/ And after reading it, it makes total sense that of course this meme is fake and has no credit at all.
Now, back to my friend who shared this BUSTED post. Even though I explained everything in the link to my Facebook friend, telling her it’s not true, she kept the post on her wall and continues to post these types of memes with a total disregard for the truth. This friend isn’t crazy, she’s someone that can usually be reasoned with. What stood out for me is that this person’s loyalty to her political party overpowered her ability to reason; and nothing I do or say will stop this.
And I’m guessing there’s millions of people who do the same. It’s more about feeling better about your opinion and wanting to be right, then the truth. So, for now I must throw in the towel and give up. Me posting and showing someone the errors within a link or story will not change anyone’s mind or get them to see a different point of view. There will not be some epiphany that leads them to further independent thought. All I can do is continue to express my views and make sure that what I post hasn’t been tainted in anyway be someone else’s agenda.
So as of today, I will no longer argue with anyone on Facebook. I’m not sure how long this will last because I’ve seen some things that really grind my gears. But I keep reminding myself – what’s the point of another online argument? And until I can answer that question, I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.