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.
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