Can We Blame The Internet For Political Polarization?


It seems logical to blame the internet for our growing political polarization. Some blame “fake news” shared on Twitter and Facebook for the outcome of the 2016 election. And we know tens of millions of Americans get their news from social media.

• • •

Not Even Gods Of War Can Kill Ideas With Bombs

Human beings understand that an idea can have formidable perseverance, when they agree with it. In fact, so fervently do people believe this, falling on one’s sword to protect the idea is considered an honorable exit from this terrestrial sphere. So, it goes without saying that human beings understand an idea can survive violence, even death — but again, only if they agree with the idea.

• • •

Social Media, Religion, Politics – Just Chill Out

Maybe it comes from the fact that I’m not religious. Maybe it comes from the fact that I don’t have deep-seated beliefs that I take “personally” when remarks I make are challenged. But, some people just need to chill out on Facebook, on Twitter, or whatever your social network of choice happens to be. If I challenge something you said in a Facebook status update, it’s a confrontation of that particular thought, not the entirety of you as a person. But if this “thought” is of religious nature, even if disguised as political, that’s where we get into the territory of the deep-seated belief. And maybe I just can’t understand how one would react in this situation because, again, I don’t have deep-seated beliefs on the level of religious dogma. And let’s not mistake this with ethics or morals, because they are not the same things. Your “beliefs” are not directly equitable to what society may consider ethical or moral in the aggregate. We need only look to Islamic extremists to drive this point home. Anyway, do I have a point here? Not really, other than people need to chill the fuck out when an opposing viewpoint “intrudes” into their social media territory.

• • •

Facebook, Food Stamps, Politics, And The Megaphone Of The Uninformed

When you use Facebook as a megaphone to pronounce condemnation of people who happen to own certain material possessions while simultaneously using food stamps, you perpetuate a stigma that already exists. You are simply pouring salt on a wound. You are standing on your soapbox and demeaning a system that helps people in need, while disparaging people you don’t know, to make a political point, about something you evidently are not informed about.

• • •

Facebook Friends: The Obama Derangement Syndrome In This One Is Strong

If you are on Facebook, and you have “friended” a few people, chances are there’s “that guy” who regularly shows up on your news feed. You know who I’m talking about, the staunchly conservative fellow who isn’t so much conservative as reactionary when a Democrat is in the White House. And you’ve probably been sucked into their conservative reactionary vortex once or twice while thinking, “The Obama Derangement Syndrome in this one is strong.” But even with this realization, you probably still couldn’t help yourself. We’ve all been there.

• • •

Bill Maher: Why Has Hate Become The National Pastime?

During the “New Rules” segment of Real Time, Bill Maher pointed out all the hate on Twitter, chat rooms, and online comment sections, and showed us examples of random hate comments directed at celebrities like Zach Braff and Jonah Hill. “Abraham Lincoln said Americans were a people with malice toward none, and charity for all. But if he had said it online, the first comment would be ‘blow me, Jewbeard’.”

• • •