OP: Is anyone else starting to feel like Facebook is mostly conspiracy theorists looking for someone to argue with?
me: I think that we’re using the platform to learn how to talk nicely to each other (reflective listening, curious questions, etc), especially when there’s a difference in viewpoints.
OP: Do you think that’s actually happening? That people are learning how to do that on here? I always feel like people just get defensive and even stronger on whatever point they started with. And then the trolling and the bullying… it’s hard to watch!
me @OP: I would agree with your assessment. People are falling back on their old communication styles based on various factors like unhealed trauma, childhood dynamics, etc.
However, if one has some space to hold space for another person’s perspective, then this current FB dialogue serves as an invaluable arena to learn how to hone one’s ability to take care of their own triggers and be present for another person.
Unfortunately, as you witness, not many people are in the awareness to use the dialogues as such.
So, we have be the change we want to see, and be able do the difficult work to put aside our ego and hold some space for someone with a differing opinion.iewpoints.
OP: I think that’s true. Even on Facebook, sometimes people will argue in the moment, but then go away and think about it a little bit more later. Sometimes it is useful to have thee discussions when there can be some compassion and intelligent points. But with conspiracy theorists? There’s no reasoning with someone who is insisting on refusing to listen to reason.
me @OP: Could it be said that statements that might invoke the label of “conspiracy”, would be statements that one feels shocked to believe are true, given one’s current knowledge of how the world operates?
Frequently when we receive such a shock that we cannot hold and integrate without strong judgement, then we may want to persuade the other to believe what we believe.
Could it be said that the shock and inability to hold/integrate another’s view, is the ego operating in full force?
I wonder if someone can persuade someone else to come over to their way of thinking by reason? Do smokers, alcoholics, gamblers, etc change their thinking and behaviour upon presentation of what one feels is very rationale, intelligent, and reasonable?
Eg “If you’d just stop smoking, you’d be healthier, won’t die from cancer, won’t leave your young children without a parent, would be able to save money for the apartment, etc.”
I think that these conversations are not so much intended for us to persuade another person who has a whole lifetime of different experiences/traumas/emotional coping/education-research/etc, to come to our side of what we believe is a rationale worldview.
These conversations might be catalysts for us to see how we are triggered, why we are triggered, question what is revealed in this triggering, and then perhaps, to some small degree, be able to hold space for the other’s perspective, with some reflective listening and respectful questions.
In that way, we are transformed, we grow in tolerance, openness, understanding, compassion, and connection with our society.
me @OP: A further, perhaps even more important aspect, is that we can use these FB conversations to grow spiritually, to grow wiser and more self-directed.
Gigi Young says it quite eloquently in this video (I’m applying it to FB conversations, but I believe she’s talking about the current times in general).
21:13-22:10 of the video:
“It’s up to the individual in society to develop their personality, to develop their spirit to the point that we are not so fragile as individuals that we demand the world change for us. We understand that we are strong and we allow others to be. And we become the eye of the storm. We don’t try to change everybody and everything so that we’re okay.
We become a force in the world and we develop our own gravity. And people can say whatever they like. Because you are who you are and you are doing your thing. Okay? That is where we have to get to as spiritual beings, as human beings. Is that we don’t look to the external world to define us. And we allow people to be. And that allows for a free society okay? it’s very very very important.”