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How the internet has changed us socially and politically

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posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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The internet has changed society and made us hyper-partisan. The internet has an equivalent in human society, we call it the mob. The loudest voice and most extreme views get the most attention. This is the basic premise of how the web operates. Exaggeration, hyperbole and fear mongering are what get results. The old rules of debate and discussion that were the norms of a civil society have been silently replaced through the internet, which has in turn changed our interpersonal relationships. Instead of speaking face to face most people are now glued to their phones or Ipads having a discussion with someone who isn't present. Most of us don't even have dinner together without the digital links to the www. Even when speaking between individuals many of us go straight to those extreme positions acquired through the internet if we don't completely avoid discussing anything remotely political.

This has pushed us in to positions of polar opposites as groups and forced us to accept increasingly extreme views which never would have flown 20 years ago. Being aware of this problem is the first step, being able to listen to the other side with an open mind and a willingness to accept when they may be right is critical. Failing this we will only further strain apart as people ultimately ending in some type of civil war. It is inevitable should we continue blindly on the path we are on.

The technology is controlling us, dangerously so. Let's take a step back and do what is best for us as people, all of us, and stop thinking of terms of us versus them. We have far more in common than differences that really matter.

Eta: It is imperative that we return to facts, logic and reason to find our way a.. Anything else is doomed to failure. As much a blessing as our digital technology is it is only in hindsight we see the downfalls of it. Once we aware however there is no excuse for continuing the same dangerous patterns that have placed us at odds against each other.
edit on 9-8-2017 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:42 PM
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That's certainly a factor, but the televized news isn't helping the matter either. Centrists have been completely banned from channels like Fox News and CNN. If you're not an extreme rightist or leftist, they don't want to hear from you. Take heart though, it's all going to come to an eruption point.
edit on 9-8-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: SpeakerofTruth

I'd like to think I'm neither right nor left but pro-people instead.
Too many people are suffering due to the conflict generated through the internet.
It's no random thing that this has occurred either, those at the top hate competition and there's no better way to eliminate that than to set us all squabbling amongst ourselves.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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I grew up in the 1960's and 70's and remember clearly how things were back then.
There were many divisive issues to be sure but at least we could talk about the issues without the personal attacks, character assassinations etc.
The right and left weren't nearly so monolithic and very, very few would have called themselves far either side.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:52 PM
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I think one of the biggest pitfalls of the internet is that it heightens our ability to react and lessens our tendency to think, causing these knee-jerk reactions based purely on emotion, without any rationalization, causing instant conflagration. The fact that you can see a story, a blog, a post, a tweet, and instantly and irrationally react to it without knowing context, validity, etc just grows the divide that is already there. I think the hyper-partisanship has always been there - the internet just gives us another way to channel it, albeit exponentially so.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

I'm about the same. Hell, I'm about as Populist as they come.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:13 PM
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To the topic... The internet has brought about positive and negative influences. If you look back thirty or forty years ago, the only real outlets were television and radio. Radio has, for all tenses and purposes, always been more reliable than television. However, both have their bias.

When the internet first became popular, roughly 25 years ago, it inserted a fresh, unregulated, method of accessing information. With that came the ability to bring up subjects the mainstream didn't dare touch. That was great. However, with that came the ability of mixing truth with falsity. That's where many things went awry.

It's the same issue that plagues the internet now. You get eighty percent truth mixed with twenty percent of complete and utter bull#.
edit on 9-8-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

I think you are correct. The internet has changed how we approach discussing issues in general.

Not only do we have information at our fingertips, we also have confirmation bias at our fingertips. We do a quick Google search and can find a source instantly that will embolden our already-held beliefs and our confidence is strengthened by that.

Only thing we can do to battle this is learn/teach ourselves and others to be open to facts and viewpoints that contradict our own and be honest enough to admit that we may be wrong.

Honesty is the biggest problem I notice when it comes to interacting on the internet.

Too many people are dishonest and lack the fortitude to admit they are wrong, when they can simply hide behind the anonymity of the internet.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep.

Check out Adam Curtis' latest some real important angles to the evolution of all this not to be missed well by anyone:


HyperNormalisation

I have a 'new' major film release close (this week), been working on for over a decade (back when all the conserative types used to call me a liberal [which now its the other way around] LOL), with all of this as a main theme.....

We need an Accelerating Change forum!!!!
edit on 9-8-2017 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:38 PM
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not really.
its given racists an anonymous voice, and as this site shows it give the intellectually lacking somewhere to incorrectly rant about political spheres but, on the whole nothing ground breaking is happening.
america still has two right wing parties and an electorate that wants to the rich to pay less while the rest of the world has socialist and capitalists scrapping it out.
le pen, wilders and farage despite all their online and russian support failed so the internet has failed to garner far right votes.
the mentally stunted here that get angry at that twitch they got during tootsie and start a thread railing against trannies or the ones that believe alex jones self stated lies aren't gonna stop homosexuality or the fact they want rupaul to top them, socially nothing has changed.
those here that demand feminists be raped and murdered get all weepy and sjw when a man of colour does their bidding, but that goes back to the racist problem this place has.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:40 PM
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One of the problems is that you can no longer trust that the people you are communicating with online aren't paid shills. I'm not speaking strictly of politics, but rather ANY area where money can be made or lost depending upon public perception.

A good example is Amazon customer reviews. Companies have campaigns to artificially inflate the reviews of their product while deflating the reviews of competing products, and this spills over into product wars on forums.

For example, a company selling Quartz countertops will pay shills to visit forums to discuss "the dangers of radon in granite countertops."

In politics, it's especially bad. Both Trump and Hillary had paid bot farms. Hell, Russia had its own bot farm, not just aimed at the U.S. elections but things like BREXIT and other poll issues throughout the democratic world.

The truth is, you simply can NOT trust that the people you're talking to are real individuals. They just may be a voicebox for some organization, group, or company.

And in political discourse, you cannot ever hope to win any argument with them or make any .way with them because they will always outnumber you and they don't take it as seriously as you do.
edit on 9-8-2017 by Dudemo5 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

A proper technical term for here is "The Computerization of Society". A tag in my old blog site. I imagine tons comes up in the Google nowadays.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

Digital tribalism....a search to be accepted.

How the internet is turning us all into "mean" girls


The binary nature of our digital platforms only emphasizes the us-versus-them dichotomy. We are given only two options: friend or unfriend? There are no shades of grey, and there is no room for conversation — let alone compromise. They belong, or they do not. They are part of the tribe, or they are an outsider.





Wikipedia defines the term digital tribe as slang for an unofficial community of people who share a common interest, and usually are affiliated with each other through social media or other Internet mechanisms. The concept is closely related to social networking and dates back to at least 2003 when tribe.net was launched.

Traditionally, each tribe has a campfire around which they gather. These campfires tend to enable the following tribal activities:

Cooperation
Communication
Cognition


Digital Tribalism is Rising...

I've been caught up in it too. There are times when my posts aren't as cognitive as they could be. I think we all have been caught up in it to a certain extent. By nature it seems easier for us to accept the "us vs them, or the "black vs white" mentality, rather than "well, some of that makes sense." Additionally everyone likes to feel recognized for that article they found that spotlights how nefarious "the other guys" are.

There are certain common grounds that we can all agree on...but the "how" to achieve those common grounds are still up for discussion, debate and argument. So how to start a productive dialogue? That's the rub. Do we start with something everyone can agree on? "People need food to survive" or "Electricity is pretty cool?" Or maybe we can start off by agreeing that everything we debate so angrily, every discussion we are passionate about on this site...really has no impact on the world at large?

What about agreeing that people don't have to agree on everything? Can we agree there? Can we agree that there is more than just a Yes, No option? That maybe there's a "some of the yes, some of the no" position?



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:23 PM
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To be fair, it seems to be worse on conspiracy sites. Even comments on msm pages don't have as many people talking in circles..they usually just call you an idiot and "walk" off. Go to where people talk about 1 subject. There is a normal world. I don't doubt the net has issues, take people talking about entertainment stars all day, and other things, and I don't doubt that there's a "they" that would like to keep us all divided, but I've got a rebuttal: how much are you getting paid to post here? Someone? Anyone? 5$? 0? Then rest assured, you're not a "they."

I tried to say the same thing and got blasted on this site being one of the first. Did anyone offer to talk to me offline? Links? No.

I guess that suddenly gets answers like, "ew, you're a creeper" or something. Or more talk about the "site" and "site" gatherings and pta meeting stuff about the "site." Hey, I'm a person. I don't have problems elsewhere. Yeah, yeah I know: go then.


:/
edit on 9-8-2017 by mericks74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: mericks74

That's because most people don't have enough knowledge to formulate a rebuttal. So they just assume someone's an "idiot" because they view things differently. Hate to break it down like that, but that's what it boils down to.

Say what you would like about ATsers, but most, not all, but most are well read and have at least an idea of what they're talking about, and have the ability to formulate an argument, regardless of the stance. That can't be said of everyone at every discussion board.
edit on 9-8-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:41 PM
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a reply to: SpeakerofTruth

That's not what I'm talking about, in fact it derails what I mean as people talk in circles here without acting like they can pm or meet without it being over a "sanctioned subject." This site seems to have its own flavor that's for sure. I wouldn't change it. But I'm not trying to feed into a narrative..
edit on 9-8-2017 by mericks74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: mericks74

I get your point. There's also a point where arguing becomes futile. I didn't mean to come off as defensive or offensive. I get your point. I was just making an observation.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:47 PM
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a reply to: SpeakerofTruth


No I didn't think that, and I agree..

(High five icon)




posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:47 PM
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originally posted by: redtic
I think one of the biggest pitfalls of the internet is that it heightens our ability to react and lessens our tendency to think, causing these knee-jerk reactions based purely on emotion, without any rationalization, causing instant conflagration. The fact that you can see a story, a blog, a post, a tweet, and instantly and irrationally react to it without knowing context, validity, etc just grows the divide that is already there. I think the hyper-partisanship has always been there - the internet just gives us another way to channel it, albeit exponentially so.


I agree, but would like to put more emphasis on the emotional part, IMO that is the worst. When it is paired with exaggeration and being super dramatic is when things get very bad.

It will get worse.



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 08:26 PM
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originally posted by: introvert
a reply to: Asktheanimals

I think you are correct. The internet has changed how we approach discussing issues in general.

Not only do we have information at our fingertips, we also have confirmation bias at our fingertips. We do a quick Google search and can find a source instantly that will embolden our already-held beliefs and our confidence is strengthened by that.

Only thing we can do to battle this is learn/teach ourselves and others to be open to facts and viewpoints that contradict our own and be honest enough to admit that we may be wrong.

Honesty is the biggest problem I notice when it comes to interacting on the internet.

Too many people are dishonest and lack the fortitude to admit they are wrong, when they can simply hide behind the anonymity of the internet.


You are correct, sir.

And I think everyone should read this entertaining little sketch from The Oatmeal, which drives the point home:

theoatmeal.com...




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