The Problem with Social Media’s “Democratization of Discourse”
A major problem with the so-called democratization of discourse by Facebook and Twitter, is that ignoramuses inject the conversation/discussion/debate with nonsense so that, even if you’re able to parse through it yourself, others will inevitably be confused.
This confusion leads to helplessness and a feeling that knowing the truth is unattainable through debate. Of course this is exploited by savvy political operatives when they don’t have a good argument but understand the power of this phenomenon.
The helplessness of the observer — and sometimes the participant(s) — devolves into nihilism, where they begin to believe that the truth is not discernible through reason because it’s impossible to evaluate dozens, hundreds, thousands of conversation for their logical cohesion.
Because no truth is ever discernible through discussion and debate, these are rendered useless. When this happens, reason is replaced with emotion and instead of exchanging and evaluating facts, videos, slogans, and photos that rile our senses.
This is how social media must operate because that is how absolute democracy operates (thus, “democratization”). Absolute democracies do not exist because it has long been recognized that they would create an untenable devolution of society — and have, when tried.
The only way, in my view, is to devalue social media as a relevant forum. Nobody looks to concerts, pool halls, or hair salons for political or cultural analysis and social media does not deserve any more respect than these as a source of opinions about serious topics.
Originally published on Twitter.