It's easy to diagnose the problem. It's harder to do something about the problem.
Our culture is going through a transitional period. Our digital connectivity has given voices and audiences to large swaths of the population which traditionally had neither.Collectively, we're still not used to this new capacity for speech. We haven't really got to terms with it yet, and we're still pushing the boundaries of what is possible as well as what is acceptable. And in many cases, we're simply exulting in our newfound power and employing it to every extreme possible simply because we can - like a newly turned 21 year old going out and drinking themselves stupid, just because they're now allowed to.There is of course a difference of timescales. Stupid college kids tend to get over their binge drinking phase within a year or two, but societies and cultures take longer to get over significant new developments, measured more frequently in decades than in years.Common to both kinds of adaptation, however, is a lot of trial and error, and the slow formation of notions of what exactly the limits of our newfound powers are, and what additional restrictions we're willing to impose on ourselves as well, often for our own good. One's own social circle might not care about your drinking in excess, but the consequences of intense hangovers and a failing liver might compel you to reign in your behaviors on your own.So to conclude the analogy, I think we're going to spend another decade or so with people shouting and arguing and generally making a rather large general din toward one another, and eventually we're going to develop a collective "headache" and start imposing certain rules and consequences to promote less "loud" and unproductive discourse. There will be an eventual pushback of people demanding that if we're all going to have so many people speaking, then they each need to wait to take their turn and be polite about it and whatnot. Our problems won't change much, but we'll at least get away from responding to them with unthinking outrage and chaos.
Post a Comment