The world feels more politically divided than ever in this current age and this divide only seems to be increasing. Unfortunately we humans have always been divided. But the safe, open spaces that existed in the pre-digital age seem to have disappeared making an intellectual exchange of opposing ideas out of our reality. Media in all forms at its current state is to be partly at blame.
The media no longer informs people of facts. In today’s world, most media content either excites or angers us. This industry depends on instigating emotions in its consumers to get more views, subscriptions, and engagements that milk the profits. There’s nothing wrong with making more money. But when the means to do it damages the socio-cultural human environment, then more media regulation can be the answer.
Due to digital algorithms, people end up being shown more content that they’d like based on the content they have previously viewed. This way, we keep seeing stuff that enforces our beliefs, and our mindset is never challenged by any opposing views. But, don’t be eager to blame social media.
In the days of cable TV, most of us viewed the news channels that were on par with our political beliefs. But we had a choice to be exposed to the other side, back then. Nowadays, this choice is far restricted.
Newspapers that were less biased than television, are also now just propaganda pages. This is because the owners of media firms have political leanings and this, in turn, shows in their content.
When all content is biased, what could be the option to not consume emotionally charged content? We can focus on consuming the latest content in our professional industries and a few hobbies. This can be in the form of subscribing to an email newsletter that sends the blurbs from a curated list of articles each week. This way you can choose what to read.
What about political content, you may ask? Politics goes on whether we care about it or not. I remember reading a quote by a holocaust survivor saying something on the lines of – We may choose to not get involved in politics but politics will get involved in us.
That’s true, but the world isn’t in such a grave state today, no matter how the showmanship in the news may feel. Most democratically elected politicians today have been elected due to the funding from industrialists and technocrats. These power players will have strings on the puppets who engage your emotions on TV. And these powerful people wouldn’t let the world collapse when the economy plays in their favor. At least, we can hope for that.
So in a way, politics doesn’t matter as long as your economic situation, lifestyle, and social stability aren’t affected. Or rather, politics shouldn’t matter as long as it doesn’t affect us and shouldn’t stop us in the never-ending pursuit of our goals.
This may be a problem as everyone around us is politically charged in most of their actions. The following may help you understand how to remain sane in a politically divided world.
I have been friends with extremely liberal free-thinking Democrats and heavily conservative Republicans and both of them do not affect me. This is because I talk to them about my common interests with that individual and do not care about their political leanings when I talk to them.
Sure, sometimes a few people try to rub their ideology towards me. I either blankly agree with them to move on or just change the topic tactfully. Political talk is useless unless you can impact the political situation. I’ll get into that a bit further.
In the Indian environment, I’ve known many people from my family and society who support the liberal Democrat party of the US when they reside over there but these same folks wildly support the right-wing conservative, ultra-nationalist political party in India. I could care less about your leanings until it affects me. But this hypocrisy is laughable.
I’ve found faults in the opinions of extreme liberals and conservative folks at the same time. I can talk about moderation all day being a stoic but let’s take some realistic examples. Some of the smartest folks I’ve known are those who analyze the good and the bad in both the right and left wings of the political spectrum and choose contextually.
At the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes as we’re all humans. Our very beauty is in our imperfection. Instead of judging people and issues with a political leaning, try viewing them as people and human issues.
I maintain my moderation in a politically extreme situation by not participating and having a good laugh in my mind about whatever happens. The best way to win in this divided world is by not dividing it even further. I enjoy political thrillers written by extremely liberal people and extremely conservative people alike. This is because I care about the story and the character than the ideology. When you analyze these books, in both extreme situations, there is good over evil in the plot and ideology comes secondary to that.
If you are passionately political, I think you should work smart towards your financial goals so that you can one day own the politicians whom you choose and control them. Other than this, anything you do will not make a difference in the political world. So do not argue, debate and fight over issues that you cannot solve.
Most people around us who talk emotionally about politics aren’t educated about the political or sociological issues that they wildly speak about. Ask yourself whether their opinions really matter? If you seem to be politically driven, at least educate yourself from long-form, academic, formally researched content instead of any pulp media, be it traditional news or social media, before you hastily rush into a political opinion.
For those of you who wish to regain sanity in this politically divided world, moderation is the only key I’ve seen work. Reconnect with your friends whom you’ve stopped talking to because of their political leanings. Talk about what you’ve got in common and forget politics when you talk to an emotionally driven person.
I’ll try to not get political in my content, for reasons explained in this article.
Let me know what you think of this and let’s discuss in the comments. 🙂
I’m interested in learning your honest views on the issues mentioned in the above article.
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