What Happened To Discussion?


"Discussion is an exchange of knowledge, argument is an exchange of ignorance". - Robert Quillen

We live in a generation where more and more people have access to wide platforms for voicing their opinions. In prior decades, and without the comfort of the internet, people would resort to soap boxes and writing to newspapers to air out their thoughts on topics. These days there is an abundance of opportunities to get your thoughts out there - like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. They're an easy way to reach a large amount of people which are also in a sense a safer way to voice opinions as you suffer less repercussions than if you were to stand in the street yelling out your views.

Due to the ease of expressing opinions online I believe people have become more intolerant of listening to other people.

Just the other week I was blocked by someone on Twitter. I kind of want to laugh at that statement as it's something I never thought would happen as I don't engage in speaking rudely or negatively to people online. This blogger tweeted saying how she thinks people are total snobs when they refer to their job as a proper or adult job. I replied to this jokingly saying how it made me feel bad as I occasionally refer to my job as an adult job only because I studied hard through university and my current work feels different to my uni jobs. This was met with a string of quite rude comments calling me a snob. I was a little taken back because, as I said, I never engage in being uncivil/mean to anyone online and was surprised someone would be unkind back? I tried to explain as nicely as I could how I never intend for it to be a demeaning statement and I think what everyone does in life is important as we all make the world go round. Gosh, I even added in a smiley face to sound friendly in case my original statement could be interpreted the slightest bit mean haha. Without much discussion or anything I was blocked. It just made me more disappointed than anything that we weren't able to enter into a civil discussion so I could hear why she felt that way and then also reiterate how my intentions were not to be snobby in the slightest. Well, I guess that's the internet for you.

In my opinion: discussion is power. We should never get stagnant listening to other points of views and hearing why people believe what they believe. I think it's important to hear what people have to say. In the past i've held certain views on topics only to have them completely changed when having a conversation with someone. One of my best friends (shout out to you Cherri!) comes from a different background to me and holds quite a lot of different views on topics to myself. I absolutely love chatting to her as we both have such civil conversations discussing soo many things. I love trying to understand her point of views and rationale, similarly she also likes trying to understand my views. Discussing doesn't mean you always have to agree with each other but it just means you're trying to absorb more knowledge and gain an understanding.

Unfortunately, the media is a very one sided thing and if you happen to have an opposing view to the alleged popular opinion of the day you face ridicule and an onslaught of horrible comments. This is probably why I never post my opinions online, because I know for talking about certain topics I could face a lot of backlash from people who don't have any intention of understanding where i'm coming from. It just shouldn't be that way. The best way for our society to grow is being able to have open conversation with one another which is free from judgement and argument.

I do think social media is good in many ways for acting as a forum for discussions but it's so important for us all to treat each other as HUMANS. It's the simple things like being respectful, not judging people, not throwing out hateful words, asking why someone feels a certain way.

To sum it all up: let's bring back discussion. Let's encourage it. Let's not ridicule others with opposing opinions. Let's constantly be open to hearing other perspectives. 

This was very different kind of post for this blog but I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Would love to know what you guys think - do you think people on social media are too intolerant of hearing other views? 

Holly xx

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  1. I definitely find social media can be like this, it really puts me off being too honest with it as there will always be an argument right! I wish more open discussion took place on there x

    1. I totally agree! It sucks people feel like they have to censor themselves completely in fear of people starting an argument. x

  2. Tbh I think no matter where you go these days, people are increasingly intolerant of other people's views. I'm finding myself challenged with the whole SSM debate going on here atm, because I know people who have voted or are going to vote No (I've already voted Yes FYI). It's been hard listening to their arguments as I feel they don't stack up & I've certainly had to bite my tongue on the subject, however I do respect their right to an opinion regardless.

    I do think it's harder to discuss things on the internet due to it all being words & emojis on a screen. It's harder to make a joke of things because people will take it the wrong way, whereas IRL with your voice (in particular your tone of voice) it's easier for people to detect that you are making a joke. I know myself I've been guilty of it & have also been on the offended end of it too.

    Shell // The Novice Life

    1. Thanks for your comment Shell! You're totally right, it's so easy for people to take things the wrong way online. I try and rarely take offense to things cause I figure life will just be a lot more annoying for myself if I take things too seriously haha. Glad you feel the same way about being able to have discussion free from argument :) x

  3. I feel like sometimes the words discussion, debate and argument kind of just blur into one on media. They are 3 separate things and you can most definitely have a discussion without an argument and I think some people on the internet need to realise that.
    Aleeha xXx