The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Social Media Skews Perception

We hear a lot in social media about strident religious or atheist folks attempting to argue people out of their system of belief and into that person's system. From some of the stuff I've read and watched, you'd think there was an all-out war out there over who is right and who isn't.

Well, as one cartoon from my misspent youth would say, "Hold on a minute there Baba Looey!" Don't ask me why I found this 2016 Pew Survey discussing this very issue. I do a great deal of research into all sorts of issues. It turns out that the most religious folks viewed as the most strident only try to persuade others of their position ... drum roll please ... ten percent of the time. Seventy percent will try to understand another person's belief system, whether they agree with them or not. For atheists, a mere four percent will try to persuade others to their point of view and 67 will listen. Now that's really not what you'd understand from social media and the most strident voices cultivated there. It is also not what you'd get from the news, which seems bound and determined to ferret out only the most noxious individuals with the most toxic points of view and absolutely no social grace.

So, beware of the messages being peddled. Avoid having your own view of others skewed by those messages. Go out and talk to people instead, make friends, be civil, and appreciate what other folks have to offer.

If you want to see the survey results for yourself (in case I'm skewing the results to my own perceptions, go to: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/15/many-americans-dont-argue-about-religion-or-even-talk-about-it/

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