I talk about this a lot, largely because I struggle with it myself — if someone has beliefs that are completely counter to mine, pushing them away is likely a bad idea for a large number of reasons.
A few months ago I shared the idea of not “unfollowing if you disagree”, which can be a challenging thing to do. It’s easy to cull your friend group and news sources to only fit what you already believe, but that’s most likely to lead to more and more extreme levels of belief. The more extreme you become, the less you’re able to see the nuance in moderate viewpoints, and those moderate viewpoints are often the ones that are nearest the truth.
Going back to Mónica Guzmán’s book “I Never Thought of It That Way“, which I’ve referenced in a few posts, she talks more about the title of this post and how it ties into the “unfollow if you disagree” way of thinking:
When you shove away the hostile, you push away the curious. The people who were learning from you, from whom you might have learned something yourself. “Unfollow if you disagree” is more efficient othering. And it carries over to real life. The week before the 2020 election, a prominent anchor on CNN, Don Lemon, told his viewers that he “had to get rid of” friends who would reelect the Republican president “because they’re too far gone.” He’d be friends with them again, he said, if “they want to live in reality.”
There may be people that are rethinking their stance on a major issue, but if they see you say “everyone that believes x is a moron”, their curiosity will fade. Your stance might have been aimed at hostile folks on “the other side”, but you’re unintentionally pushing away those that were merely curious.
It’s a tough place to be, no doubt, but I always believe that staying in a place of curiosity and seeing issues from both sides is the best way to become well-educated with your own opinions.
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