I recently got involved in a discussion with a person on an internet forum. What generally starts out as a respectful debate, can very quickly escalate into an exercise of futility. The subject was a matter of policy regarding broadcasting and was initially made by the national manager of the organisation in a media outlet interview. The bloke I was involved in the forum discussion with, was their PR hack.
It struck me about halfway through this discord, that it doesn’t matter how much factual, proof based, information that you bring to the exchange, some people are unable to accept the truth. Now…I realize that some peoples version of facts are also up for debate. I’ve long held the belief that……”I read it on the internet” is about as reliable as “I heard it in a pub”. I try to stick to actual press releases, recorded interviews and real time live coverage to get as close to the facts as possible. Admittedly, even then, “the facts” can be distorted or photo-shopped to modify the the truth.
So….at what point in time, are people expected to put up the white flag and admit that they are wrong or is that premise just past some people’s ability? When, the indisputable facts are presented to them and they still blindly and stubbornly stick to their guns to defend the indefensible. When, they argue and attempt to modify the words that are on the public record.
I think we’ve all been in the position of seeing dickheads on forums, Facebook, twitter etc, go at it, like it was their life cause to tear down reality, all while hiding under their internet handles of anonymity. It could be argued that our elected leaders get away with this behavior and get paid by us, to do it in our houses of parliament on a daily basis.
The internet is an interesting place! It gives us access to live news, medical and financial information and connects people. We can watch sport, catch a movie, do our shopping and banking, book flights and accommodation, run a business, get an education, catch up with friends etc. It’s given everyone a place to stand on their soapbox, vent their feelings, share their beautiful stories, their news, their joys and their sadness but it’s also given us the nut-bags of this world, the pedantic political types, the advertising pains in the arse, the PR hacks, the religious zealots, and the haters, a place to vent their BS.
So…..where do we go from here in our quest for the truth and logical discussion? Well, I learned one thing….You walk away at the point where you realize that the debate is going nowhere. Everyone is entitled to their opinions……even if they are factually incorrect.
….and that is one advantage that the internet has over the pub…….one click and they’re gone.