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Politics, Social Media & Online Discourse

I’m concerned about the quality of discourse in America. Not just political discourse. Discourse as a whole. But during election season, it becomes more painfully noticeable.

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a surge of “sound bite posts” grossly misrepresenting candidates on all shades of the spectrum. Things like, “Democrats believe everyone should make the same amount of money no matter what,” and, “Mitt Romney hates poor people.”

My buddy Lance has recommended you unsubscribe from people like that. I’m not sure I agree.

Because those “crazy people” aren’t really all that crazy. In fact, for the most part, they’re really intelligent and capable people who get sucked into this trap of posting dogmatic, out-of-context, and typically incorrect stuff.

And real discourse is suffering as a result.

I believe that meaningful political conversation is important. It helps you clarify your own thinking. It helps you reach more meaningful conclusions. Sometimes it changes your mind altogether, other times only slightly, and sometimes only furthers your convictions.

But we don’t engage in discourse any more. We yell at each other. Or more accurately, we yell in a crowded room where other people may or may not actually be listening.

How do we get back to a place where people have real conversations about important issues?

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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