It’s been quite sometime since I have added to my blog. And, since I haven’t gotten anything but spam remarks, mostly from Russian trollers, it makes me wonder if anyone reads this. Either way, it is a forum for me to voice my opinions, etc. But, then again, there are millions of blogs now along with podcasts and forums for people to make their voices heard. Is this a good thing? Is it worth it to hear and read everyone’s opinion – no matter how idiotic or wise?
Anonymous voices say whatever they wish without any filters. I am totally dismayed at the horrible English that is used – which makes me wonder if the writers are all foreigners invading American posts or just uneducated, sloppy Americans – probably both.
Do I read what people post, yes I do. And, I am totally amazed at how little sense so many of them make. What are they referring to or discussing? And, what even amazes me more is that some people respond to these incoherent posts agreeing or disagreeing or remarking. And, who knows what was meant in the first place. Because of this, I have come to the conclusion that these posts are not worth reading or definitely not worth giving any credence.
Americans are excessively gullible, believing whatever they read as if it is true – regardless of their politics. I have little respect or admiration for Trump, but his remark about fake news does have some truth to it. (He would know as he lies all the time.) It is hard to know what to believe. Where is respected and unbiased journalism – definitely not from Fox news, and not from most radio talk shows. It is hard to believe the government – as their stories change minute to minute. Our parents, friends, enemies voice their opinions and anger and politics without a lot of information or knowledge. Trying to discuss facts rationally with someone who is set in their opinion (and it is, for the most part just an opinion) becomes impossible and often results in the end of communication and even long time friendships.
I remember during the Vietnam War, I am old enough to remember those times, that families stopped speaking to each other for years – sometimes forever, due to the difference of opinions and so called what being American is. Those wounds are still evident to this day. Yet, we haven’t changed.
We glorify what we think is being a ‘true American’. Somehow, we have gotten being pro-war and pro-military and pro-killing as being a true American, instead of realizing that being American means freedom and free expression for all – including those we disagree with.
The number one reason that has been attributed to incivility and disrespect both in the workplace and in one’s personal life is Politics, per a recent study by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate. Though, we have apparently become more civil at work, (a small percentage) as of late, in our personal lives incivility has increased since 2014 reaching an all time high between 2016 and 2018.
After politics, it is race relations, police shootings, religion, then immigration and more. You can find their full study on line .
So, how do we get around this ‘incivility’? IMO, the workplace is not the place to discuss politics. I have seen such anger and animosity between coworkers due to political differences, that, not only does work not get done appropriately, but some employees become so stressed, they go out on medical leave. Unless you are able to handle it and discuss non work related issues civilly, DON’T. Your employer will not appreciate the dissension nor hostility in the workplace. It is not appropriate.
Take a deep breath before getting into any conversation around hot topics, and during the conversation. Set ground rules for your discussion. Ask permission to speak. If things get too heated, stop the conversation and agree to disagree. If the other person is important to you, find a way to end your conversation lovingly and with respect. Find some common ground.
Those are just a few ideas. I’m sure you have your own and you can find more on lots of blogs and tweets. Always ask yourself if it is worth it to get into these heated conversations. What does it do or might it do to your cherished relationships? What might it do to your own health and stress levels?
If you are not a troller or a foreign hacker, I would be interested in hearing from you on how your experiences have been in discussing hot topics. Of course, if you only talk with those who agree with you, which most of us do these days, you probably won’t have any problems.