a reply to: FamCore
ATS has evolved in my life to become one of my main sources of news and discussion of relevant topics, to include politics. This has helped reinforce
my libertarian ideals, but has also helped me realized that I didn't go from default California liberal (I lived there for the first 19 years of my
life) to a conservative, like I thought after I voted for Obama in 2012, but that I truly have libertarian ideals (for the most part).
So, in that sense, it helped me define my political approach to society, but it hasn't changed it.
I do believe that age has a lot to do with it, though. I was a "liberal" all through my late 20s, but that was because I wasn't really a political
person. When I started paying attention, based on the fact that my wife deployed to Iraq in the midst of a war and I had a son at the time, I realized
that there were major problems with how Bush was doing things, and this made me thing that voting for Obama was the only appropriate response.
Then I REALLY started paying attention and using critical thinking, and realized that Obama was just as bad, just from a different approach. I
honestly didn't realize that I was libertarian-minded until I took a political-spectrum test that I accessed via a comment on here, which placed me
deep in "libertarian" and slightly to the right. This expanded my learning about libertarianism, and really sparked my vigor for protecting rights and
So, I think that age/progressing through life's situations changes more than the exposure to online forums, but one certainly can see how this
exposure could be good and bad in finding one's self.
Confirmation bias and groupthing are two examples of how this site can be a negative, depending on the individual's critical thinking skills.
Unfortunately, I think that the average level of critical thinking on this site is going downhill, so groupthink and confirmation bias is becoming a
replacement, causing fighting this approach to topics to be an uphill battle in many forums more often than not.
Kudos for admitting this and inquiring about it...it's often hard to admit that political leanings have changed in the modern political climate.