Convenience has a price.
The creation of internet bookmarks has made sifting through infinite piles of digital information nearly effortless. They’re also destroying this country.
They create a false, personalized version of the world. In a digital life, you now only see what you want to see. You hear opinions with which you already agree. You take this massive, wonderfully diverse world and whittle it down to five or six online places that reinforce your expectations of life.
We no longer have to consider opinions that piss us off, let alone figure out how to engage in fruitful conversations. We no longer have to agree to disagree. We simply exclude those disagreers from our lives. We’ve surrounded ourselves with Yes men and women. We bookmark back slappers and atta-boys and you ain’t kiddings. We wake up to thumbs up and go to sleep to you’re absolutely rights.
Bookmarks, search engine tailoring and political correctness have carved a divide in our society between those who believe like us and those who don’t.
- Republican vs. Democrat
- Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life
- Gay Marriage vs. Traditional Marriage
- Believers vs. Atheist
- Minority vs. Majority
- Big Government vs. Small Government
- Pro-Gun vs. Anti-Gun
- Pro-Amnesty vs. Pro-Immigration Laws
The list goes on and on.
The reality is we are more similar than our bookmarks indicate. We all want good schools. We all want people to have access to healthcare. We all want people to have jobs. We all want those in need to have access to services. We all want to raise our children in a free, safe world. We all want to live a good life. We all want to love and be loved.
We are not that different. Our bookmarks, our favorites, our frequent search optimizations have hid these similarities from us. They have stifled respectful discourse. They have fostered greater societal separation. It’s nearly impossible to find anyone to agree with 100% because almost no one has your same bookmarks.
We need to disconnect from the filtered online world and re-enter the real one, where our similarities are far more important than our differences. Where we focus on the big picture things we agree upon instead of being laser-focused on the myopic way we want the world to be.
It’s time we look at each other as fellow humans who grow, love, share, make mistakes and forgive. It’s time we sit down and find out why people hold different opinions instead of dismissing them out of hand.
We used to be a mature, intelligent, cordial society. We should strive to be that again.