“If you think gay marriage is wrong, you can unfollow me…”
“If you support Trump you can unfollow me…”
“If you’re for abortion you can unfollow me…”
Every so often I encounter posts like these. They sadden me because they contribute to a culture that doesn’t value YouTube channels like TruthSNACK.
Here are 3 reasons “you can unfollow me” language kills life’s greatest discussions.
1. An exchange of ideas is impossible if everyone already agrees.
Even-handed discussion is impossible if one perspective is exiled. It’s hard to mature in our thinking if we’re always surrounding by like-minded people, and at worst we could suffer from a kind of groupthink. “Unfollow me” helps reinforce such clusters instead of encouraging the exchange of ideas.
2. It assumes the moral high ground.
Our culture has exchanged an attitude of “I think I’m morally correct, and you think you’re morally correct” for “I’m right and you’re a horrible person!” If you think someone’s position is morally abhorrent, someone likely thinks the same of your position. Neither side is “ahead” because they’re repulsed by the opposing argument.
3. It devalues your own voice.
Assuming you are right, why sever ties with those who disagree with what you consider superior ideas? If you believe your ideas are truly good or valuable, why prevent others from understanding them? Don’t hinder yourself from making a difference.
I’m convinced that calm, respectful, and thoughtful discussion can catalyse much-needed change. I’m strongly against telling those with whom we disagree to unfollow us. But if you disagree, don’t you dare unfollow me!