Unlearning Ignorance on Social Media

Feb 11 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew

As I spend a great deal of time on TikTok, I admit to having learned a lot about history, religion, crafts, cooking and tech innovations in a short span, while being entertained by pranks and fun trends. Simultaneously, coming across distasteful content.

I notice some comments that literally make my skin crawl and it makes me wonder if the people responsible were actually capable of committing the things they write as comments. Likewise, I admire the recipients who fearlessly turn them around and make content to educate others.

To survive in this era of social media, one should not let negative criticism intimidate them as the trolls make it their mission to tear people down. Content creators should have thick skin.

It is wise to comprehend thy self before tarnishing other people's beliefs and to reserve opinions that are not supported by evidence. I believe the silent majority does not hold polarised feelings but the few on social media make it appear so. Being disrespectful, verbal attacks and humiliating others with dissenting voices is a flex to acquire more followers.

What happened to modesty and decency? When did society become spiteful, hurling insults as a weapon?

I believe Charles Bukowski once said, “the problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” For the most part, I concur.

One item that kept popping up on my page was inconsiderate people who chose disrespect instead of mature discourse. These people try to make an unfounded argument based on something they picked from somewhere but have not really validated it.

Intelligent people are reserved, they appreciate limits and boundaries. Meanwhile, the ignorant have a lot to say. We need to learn to express our ideas in a well-mannered accord. A respected teacher said fools do not have boundaries, they say whatever they want and do not know when to draw the line but intelligent people know their limits.

We must be civilised when using social media and get our messages across reverently. Being fierce about injustice does not always mean people have to use obscene language to usher in change.

The depth of ignorance is unmatched. It amuses me when people that do not realise their limitations boast. They are unaware let alone admit to the shortcomings. The Socratis saying “all I know is that I know nothing” is lost there.

There is a term in psychology called cognitive disequilibrium. According to the American Psychological Association, disequilibrium in developmental psychology is a state of tension between cognitive processes competing against each other.

If someone has been taught their entire life every red fruit is an apple, then they would associate red fruits with just an apple. If One day they find out strawberries are also red and apples come in green, they will be in shock. They immediately reject the claim but once they decide to go to a nearby store to find other red fruits and green apples, their cognitive dissonance will be resolved.

Not everyone is ready and willing to question their long-held beliefs because that would mean change which is scary.

The current generation has the courage to enquire, scrutinize and follow the path they think is right if unsatisfied with the answers. I have also noticed how people blindly follow information especially if the idea has been around for years- somehow it makes it legit. We should make a habit of questioning and investigate instead of just accepting everything we are told.

I believe everyone, (psychopaths and sociopaths) aside, have a moral compass within. We just tend to suppress it and listen to the ego instead.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 11,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1189]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (kaymina21@gmail.com)

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