We live in a time of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and young people being offended by other people’s opinions – to a point where they seem to be perfectly willing to silence others.
For society, this is disastrous. For a community to evolve, different opinions and ideas must be tested against each other in a free and open debate. Especially unconventional or controversial ones. Without a free exchange of thoughts, democracy becomes pointless. Without diversity, our culture will die. Without new input, there will be no progress.
Especially young people ought to question everything, explore new ideas and oppose conformity. Instead, today many of them seem to be narrow-minded, politically conform, anxious, and frantic. I’m pretty sure this is a new phenomenon.
Why are people so easily offended, upset and disgruntled these days?
For young people born in the Facebook era, conflicting information and alternative views are things they might not be used to. Entangled in Facebook’s algorithms they mostly communicate with like-minded people. So when faced with alternative views and opinions, many of them react with hostility. (This is nothing strange. People often react negatively to the new, to the unknown and to things that they might perceive as threatening.)
This is just an observation – not the full or only explanation. But it might be a clue to what’s going on: Facebook is limiting free speech and the development of new ideas.
This is a very sad and unfortunate way to use a tool for instant, unlimited global communication such as the Internet.
Also read satire website The Onions piece: Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas »