How does the old expression go: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Or some-such.
Let me mangle that thought into this: “That which does not enlighten me makes me dumber.”
We’re talking the Internet and the slow gurgle from dying newspapers. I am becoming more and more convinced the Internet is aiding and abetting the polarization of America. Not “causing” but certainly “helping.”
Quick, easy test: check your browsers. How many liberal sites to you plumb on a daily basis? How many conservative? Full disclosure: I have six liberal and two conservative aggregates.
Seriously, how often do you read stuff from the other side that you dig up on your own?
Switch to newspapers and how we read them. I’m no longer active in sports, don’t have a favorite team and (heresy!) could give a damn whether the Longhorns win or lose. But I glance at the sports section every day just to keep my testosterone tank topped off. Lots of men pay the same cursory homage to the sports pages.
Now, switch back to the Net. Research shows that once you switch to online readership, you rarely – if ever – click through the sports news again. (Hat tip to Dr. Brad Wilson for that nugget.)
Same logic applies to politics. Once online, most of us get comfortable reading what our good guys have to say and nothing from those evil bastards across the divide.
Ergo, the Net isolates us. Entrenches us. Enrages us.
Is it worth it?
Sure, our nation has always entertained differing viewpoints. But this stuff is getting serious. The gunfire is both literal and figurative.
Really – is it worth it?
I don’t have the answers. Just questions.