Many truths in our world are deep and complex to understand. Yet, we find ourselves guilty of finding a way to simplify the truth down to something easy to comprehend that fits our world view. How many times have we found a simple meme, thought to ourselves, “this is SO TRUE!”, and shared it online with all of our social media friends to see? When we do this, we ostracize those that may think a little differently than us. They may see a deep flaw in the meme, but it would take a long time to spell out the complex nature of how the meme has simplified the premise too much and is guilty of a little ad hominem.
Instead of taking the time to do this, which in the end would be pointless anyway since it won’t change your mind (or reverse the situation: you’re not changing theirs), you have chalked up yet another instance that has belittled that person’s way of thinking. How many marks does it take before they unfollow you? How many marks before they unfriend?
Is it worth it? I’m sure you’ve seen many memes out there that are contrary to your world view and you’ve had the ability to critically think about the flaws within that meme. Perhaps we should be turning that critical eye on our own simplifying thoughts and memes and identify how we’ve actually simplified it too much, are actually wrong within that simplification, and how it isn’t worth pushing those of a different mindset away.
Featured Photo by NON SEQUITUR © Wiley Ink, Inc.. Dist. By ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
5 thoughts on “Complex Truths”
The flaws are in those who ALWAYS think the view is directed at THEM. They think the populous should ALWAYS think about THEM, and how a view will affect THEM. They should quit thinking that every view and every statement is meant to be negative and against ‘THEM’. The world ‘DOES NOT REVOLVE FOR OR AROUND THEM’.
While I think it is not healthy to have a mindset that people, by posting false (or not completely true) memes and posts, are attacking you, the bigger flaw is in the one who posted the false post or meme in the first place.
IF a person sees a deep flaw in a simple statement, they need to ‘LET IT GO’. Most often, it isn’t about YOU, or directed at you.
Great post! Reminds me the ideas in this article, which you’ve probably seen linked from XKCD: https://medium.com/civic-tech-thoughts-from-joshdata/so-you-want-to-reform-democracy-7f3b1ef10597
What a great article! I’m surprised I haven’t seen this yet.