My Facebook account has nearly 5,000 friends. Throw in the folks who follow me on the Fox on Fox page and Twitter and I’m somewhere north of 10,000. What I’m getting at is lots of posts fly by on my newsfeed.
In our highly charged political environment I sometimes see inflammatory posts. I read them. I look at the artwork. They upset me if they represent an opinion diametrically opposed to mine. They really steam me when they’re based on lies! They often are.
At that point what I should do is move on. Of course that’s what I don’t do! Instead I engage.
Here’s what I’ve found. When people are passionate in their beliefs they’re willing to buy into nearly anything. Even if you show them they’re quoting something already shown to be false or they’re using a quote so out-of-context only a contortionist could understand it makes no difference.
And yet I still engage. What the hell is wrong with me?
A few days ago the Courant’s Rick Green (himself no shrinking violet) walked by my desk and smiled slyly as he told me he’d read through a Facebook pissing match I’d been in. Maybe he felt my pain.
In these battles I feel invincible. Expressing myself is a large part of what I do for a living and I’m pretty good at it.
Still, no matter how incontrovertible my points the battles rage on. I close one door, they open another and another. Logic be damned!
I can’t sway them because logic is often sorely lacking in how their opinion was formed. I can’t argue against emotion. They are totally emotional.
At some point I’ll give in to the futility of my actions. Not yet. I still feel I can turn minds… if I can only find some actually engaged in these fights.