Wouldn’t it be great if you could make everyone on the Internet either agree with you or shut the heck up? You betcha. I’ve tried. But they don’t shut up. They just come back and post more stuff to tick you off. I can either embrace them or avoid them.
Emotions and Critical Thinking
Beliefs are convictions or assumptions that people hold to be true, even if they can’t be proven or disproven. When issues challenge our beliefs and stir our emotions, we find comfort in seeking information to confirm our beliefs. To think critically, we must free ourselves from our emotions. However, religious, political, and cultural beliefs are not like math or chemistry. These beliefs vary based on ideas that make us feel safe and accepted.
The Risks of Saying Stupid Stuff on the Internet
Wow, the Internet is immediate and permanent. And that’s a long time! I see screen captures of deleted Tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram on the Internet all the time.
I have posted and deleted material I later thought might possibly be sketchy. When my gut tells me that I am posting something sketchy, I side with my gut. There is absolutely nothing I can post in a forum that is worth my reputation.
Trolling and Trolls
I love Internet forums. I read forums for fun and for information.
But forums have a sneaky way of getting readers into a blind date with a troll. A few months ago, I made the mistake of giving my opinion as opposed to the facts on a forum, only to find that a troll challenged me to explain myself. Answering the person would only have made the conversation grow. How wonderful, I could have a relationship with a troll! I deleted the comment.
On a gut level, the idea of trolling has some appeal. You know, you create a sneaky identity just to sound off with your opinions and set people right. But this tactic has a price, especially when people lift your covers. I read an article a few months ago about a politician who spent $35,000 to find the identity of a troll. And he found him!
Occasionally, I read an offensive post, something intended to tick people off, at least tick some people. These posts have a magic for creating rants and counter rants. People who know how to troll take as much or more pleasure in making people angry as they do in attracting people who agree with them. Reacting to trolling just raises the post in forum streams. I just let it go, let it go, let it go. ♫ ♫ ♫
How to Lose Friends and Lose Influence: Talk about Politics on the Internet
The web is rife with political stuff during political seasons. Most people have a bias more than a brain when it comes to politics. Politicians do not give people information. They give people sound bites, clickbait and headlines to chum the waters for political fish. People can rise to the bait suck it up. But political chum is less cool in business and social forums. When I see people posting chum in my Internet feeds, I unfollow them. See ya, not. Don’t want your tweets. Don’t want your face on Facebook. Don’t want your political wisdom on LinkedIn. No, no, no, not now, not ever.
I don’t unfriend them or disconnect from them all the time. I just unfollow Friends Who Post Politics on the Internet.
Beliefs and claims are important elements in critical thinking because they provide the foundation for reasoning and evaluating evidence. Beliefs are convictions or assumptions that a person holds to be true, even if they can’t be proven or disproven. They often shape a person’s perspective and understanding of the world. Claims, on the other hand, are statements that can be evaluated based on evidence. In critical thinking, it is important to distinguish between beliefs and claims. One should not take their beliefs as fact without evaluating the evidence and reasoning behind them. Additionally, one should evaluate claims by examining the evidence and reasoning presented, and considering alternative perspectives.It is also important to be aware of one’s own beliefs, and to be open to re-evaluating them in light of new evidence. This allows for more accurate and fair evaluations of claims.Overall, critical thinking requires a balance of considering one’s own beliefs and claims, while also evaluating the evidence and reasoning behind them.