The dangerous trend is the rush to judgment without the facts. We react. We react quickly. We react repetitively. Our minds are being trained to view and respond, view and respond at such a fast rate that our accuracy is drastically diminished. How many different social media posts do you think your eyes scan in a day? It could be dozens, hundreds or even thousands.
What makes you think you have impeccable understanding of each and everyone? What makes you think that you understand even one tenth of them well enough to render absolute judgments on them over and over again…all in one day or even an hour online?
Don’t rush to judgment.
Seek out the facts.
Know you are being played for ratings, clicks, views, minutes watched. The algorithms that influence monetization drive the approach the content developers use. You are better than falling right into that.
Here are a few tips to help you judge and react less and listen more:
- React to fewer things than you view, far fewer.
- Reduce the number of things you view.
- Increase the amount of time between exposure of a news story and you stating your opinion or judgment about it.
- If it gets your blood pressure up instantly, you better pay extra close attention to what is going on. You are probably being played for revenue.
- Listen to other points of view to tease out the biases
- Be aware of confirmation bias – we rush most quickly to believe things we are conditioned to want to believe are true.
- Identify your own biases so you can be aware of how those filters affect your opinions and compromise your objectivity.
- Take every thought captive to Christ – 2 Cor 10:5
- “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” – James 1:19
- Don’t overestimate your own abilities. This means don’t assume your ability to judge things is superior to everyone else’s. You are susceptible to all the same failings and misunderstandings as everyone else.
It is the wild west out there. Don’t be a lone ranger. Don’t be an outlaw. Be a respectable citizen of the internet community who isn’t raising a stink around every corner but is working to make the town a place people want to live.