Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, January 14, 2017

civil discourse

 I enjoy Facebook, I really do. It is, for the most part a congenial place to be. An escape from the world around you. I'm thinking perhaps I have been spending too much time there. Either that or the world " out there " has taken on some disturbing changes. I don't have that many folks on my " friends " list but I'm guessing it is friends of friends. Whatever the case may be the circle seems a bit wider than a few years ago. Hey, it is a big world out there. As that world grows the introduction of different behaviors is unavoidable. It is rather like going to school, we didn't do that at home. Then on to college or the service and we didn't act like that at school. However you choose to look at it, things change. I am seeing changes now that I find unsettling. I think it is a lack of decorum that troubles me the most. This isn't a recent discovery on my part, I have noticed it for a while and have mentioned it before. It s just today, I feel uncomfortable, and so feel perhaps I'm getting overexposed.
 It is not in my nature to be conciliatory. If I see or hear what I consider inappropriate content I will speak up. It is that very action that causes some of the discomfort I am feeling. You could say it was self inflicted and I got what I deserved. It is true that Facebook is for everyone to use as they see fit. Although Facebook itself does have terms of use. It is a shallow attempt to control the content. Still, we wouldn't want to impact business. Others will say, I refuse to be censored, I can say whatever I want. In my thinking that is an admission that they realize that content shouldn't be shared in a " public " way. I also believe many engage in this behavior  to garner " friends " or popularity. The same reason television and the movies exploit sex and violence to garner ratings. Appeal to a persons baser instincts and you can be popular. Nobody likes a goody two shoes.                                             
 Yesterday it did strike me that Facebook is a reflection of society. I had thought it wasn't a real representation because of my limited friends list. But it is, as I am seeing posts from all manner of folks, different age groups. Facebook is the old folks media though. I am not brave enough to be on Twitter or FaceTime, whatever the kids are using these days. I'm quite certain I would be appalled. It is best I avoid that. What troubled me yesterday was the realization there are a lot of folks my age or older that seem to have adopted this attitude of defiance. A defiance of convention and civil discourse

Civil discourse is engagement in discourse (conversation) intended to enhance understanding. Kenneth J. Gergen describes civil discourse as "the language of dispassionate objectivity", and suggests that it requires respect of the other participants, such as the reader. 

I looked up that definition to ensure it was saying what I intended. Kenneth J. Gergen is a psychologist and holds a PhD. Guess that makes him pretty smart. I arrived at the same conclusion he did, it just took me longer. It is respect for the " reader " that seems to be missing in a lot of postings. As I have mentioned before it was what we called " polite " company back in the day. You knew what should and shouldn't be said in " polite company. " What happened to that ? It has been my experience that when you spend most of your time being defensive, it is because you are offensive ! One does not need to feel threatened when one is doing right. As Roosevelt said, walk softly but carry a big stick.