The saddest thing about the social media age is that we are feeding into each other’s echo chamber. The whole technology is based on group think; algorithms shepherding likeminded sheep to bleat along with our blathering. 7,700,000,000 in this world yet we are being trained to follow those whose outlook and ideology is absolutely in accordance with our perception.
Originality is thus ground up into dust we keep attracting people who have views just like us. We keep getting amens from the choir who think just like us, fortifying our thoughts and in the process solidifying our preconceived notions.
Dissent, dissent, tis dissent that made humanity grow and attain greatness. Alas we have atrophied as a society and moon-walking backwards as dissent is met with screeds and violence. Our circle grows narrower and narrower in the process; knowledge is devalued as we keep valuing only what we already know and only seek those who know just like us.
But this is abject ignorance for if no one is there to challenge us, to say “hold on I disagree with you” and all we get are “damn that is brilliant, I agree 100”, then we become a society of automatons who regurgitate the dogma of others and think we are Imhotep reincarnated. Is this what we want, to be praised for our acumen while incinerating with fiery rhetoric those who think different?
Technology is directly eviscerating humanity as it is leading us to value group think over the dissonance that we gain by being challenged. Chasing likes and smiley faces only to turn around and blast others who disagree with us. Diplomacy so past tense and passé that people are directly claiming to delete anyone who is not 100% like them. What does it hurt exactly to hear someone who does not sing from the same music sheet as you; does a divergent opinion hurt you so that you have to seek only those who nod and applaud to your words because they are really applauding their own egos and closed minds.
And then we wonder why the world is ablaze in hatred and why “we” have a president who uses the harshest of language and who is utterly closed minded. Is he not a reflection of the society we live in? We just morphed from an empty suit who sold “hope and change” to his worshipers to a toupee who has no brains beneath his plugs who sold hope to his own set of cult followers. We are following leaders who don’t lead through inclusion and instead have perfected the science of divisiveness.
There, I probably said a few things just in that paragraph that might make some wince, but did it hurt you to reflect on these words or is it better that I speak exactly as you? Is it better to be challenged about our notions or to be applauded for what we already know?
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.