The Internet And False Choices

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Kanye West yesterday got in the news because he was both wearing a Trump hat and a Colin Kaepernick jumper. This shouldn’t be news at all, because what someone wears is ridiculous as it is, but Kanye was making a statement with the matter.

In the internet age, everything has become a zero sum game. You must hate this person if you’re an R. You must hate this person if you’re a D. You can’t say anything they do is good or you’re ostracized. It goes for a lot of different things in our culture.

You can’t like both Drake and Pusha T in rap.

You can’t be into Marvel AND DC. You can’t be into Jeff Lemire AND Comcisgate.

We’re al guilty of this at times, myself included. And there’s a big problem when you get into this sort of thing — it limits you.

It limits the things you see, the way you see the world, the people you come across and interact with. When everything becomes a binary choice 100% or 0% you lose out, especially when it comes to people.

People are just people. We’re all good. We’re all bad. We’re all in between. You may not like my book Star Realms: Rescue Run, but maybe you like For Steam And Country. They’re two different things from two different points in my life and with two different aesthetics, all by the same person. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing all the time.

The problem is when we get into groups on the internet, it becomes that. We play for likes. Those likes get us feedback when we all sway one way, different feedback when we all sway another way. The way that likes and retweets and all that has got us programmed, it’s forced so much to be a zero sum game.

The truth is, all people have good and bad about them, and most actually have good or at least good intentions most of the time. We tend to ascribe the motivations for people we would like them to have or that we think we ourselves would have in situations, especially when we’re ascribing the most negative motivations to people.

But real life is not the internet. Real life is not likes. Real life is not appealing to a singular echo chamber. It’s okay to love everyone.

Zaira’s forced into a corner in The Fight For Rislandia, where she has little choice but to engage the enemy. That’s war, but real life isn’t all a war. You can read about war in Rislandia in my new book here, and in real life, choose a better path.

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One thought on “The Internet And False Choices

  1. Unfortunately, given the lay of the land and this country’s relative lack of any shared values, institutions, and culture, the political “tribe,” if you will, one associates with DOES act as a very accurate shorthand for that person’s general beliefs.

    It sucks, it’s ugly, and it’s not the way we wish things would be or think they SHOULD be, but it IS.

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