The State of Discourse

I was at the Fenelon Falls Brewery in cottage country on the weekend and I realize when I’m out with people I talk too much. I can take over the conversation with the many subjects and topics I’m interested in. I write a lot of these ideas on Twitter and here on this blog. I was told I spend a lot of time on my phone.

Which shocked me because I believe I have a more healthy relationship regarding screen time than most. Or perhaps it’s that I don’t take it all so seriously like others. I reflected about this in real time and replied that often I am starved for real conversation about real issues that impact us all. The problem is I’m not getting those conversation anywhere else other than online.

There’s one guy I know who every time I see him only wants to watch TikTok videos, or talk about Janet Jackson. That’s it. He’s 40 but the most juvenile person I know. He’s emblematic of so much of what I observe out in the world.

The truth is the topics I raise on Twitter are rarely had in person with others. Most people I interact with outside of Twitter are easily distracted and their attention span is sorely limited so I’m not getting that type of depth that I crave. It’s all really superficial conversation.

Either people are afraid to have these conversations — which is a real possibility for obvious reasons I’ve pointed out in other posts — or they don’t think about them at all. They want to talk about pop music, or television, or movies, or celebrities, or to gossip about mutual friends; all topics I find exceptionally boring and uninteresting.

So there I was babbling on and growing increasingly frustrated that I was receiving no engagement. I guess that’s why I’m on Twitter a lot, I get the depth I need from like-minded or opposite-minded peers.

I want to be challenged intellectually but have realized that’s not the way the majority want to spend their time with friends. So they talk about subjects that are more shallow. I’m wondering if this is why I’ve become more of a recluse in the last couple of years.

It’s been evident to me for some time, but now I’m really finding it hard to relate to others. I don’t want to talk about movies. I don’t want to talk about other people. I find that most people just want to talk about themselves, which I can do, but not exclusively. It may be an unresolvable issue that I have to accept.

Perhaps the shrinking discourse in our society has something to do with COVID, as well as the election of Donald Trump that then influenced the infestation of so-called Social Justice into all our institutions, determining what are the ‘acceptable’ and ‘permissible’ subjects to discuss.

When it comes to COVID you can only think one way. When it comes to politics, you can only think one way, and this is all lead by people on the left, those who consider themselves liberal and open minded, yet they’re anything but that.

I’m hoping that dissent will reappear and be safe again, but in an age where you can get fired from your job just by straying an iota from the orthodoxy, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to take.

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