Breaking the cycle of soundbite conversations

Wear a mask. All lives matter. Trump is an idiot. Protesters are libtards.

We are living during an era of ultra-partisanship. As a society, we've lost our ability to speak with empathetic nuance. Instead, we've opted to utter prepackaged soundbites that protect us from thinking – that's left for someone else to do.

We're all desperate for clarity. How is it that nearly every issue one could raise contains a controversy? Is it merely, as many have proposed, that our filter bubbles lock us into an orthodoxy of tribal self-righteousness?

Or, perhaps it's the inverse.

Perhaps those of us with nuanced perspectives would rather not wade into discussions that seem futile from the start. Social technologies reward those who yell the loudest, not those that think the hardest. The reverberation of canned messaging doesn't invite conversation. It signals, as a banner in war, one's allegiance.

It's tempting to bury incompetence with a fiery rebuke. But, if your intention is to either persuade or understand, starting a conversation, rather than a fight, will yield much greater results. Ultimately, we're usually fighting about the means of accomplishing a mutually-desired outcome.

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