A page 3 headline in the National Post recently announced: “Canada’s high school world champs show how debate is done.” The sub-head said, “Proof that future of argument isn’t bleak”.
In our social-media-obsessed and cancel-culture age, this is good news.
The beauty about organized debates is that it doesn’t matter what you believe. Both sides are assigned a topic and told to argue either pro or con.
Social media posts are somewhat less rule-bound. Take, for instance, a recent exchange on Facebook, locally.
L D – Anyone else sick of the mask debate? We are being told to wear one, so wear one. Same as a seat belt.
C H – Not really. I don’t wear a seatbelt to keep my passengers safe.
B M – I don’t wear a seat belt, but that only puts my life in danger, if I don’t wear a face mask I put other peoples lives in danger.
C H – I think there was good intent in the message, just a bad analogy.
B J – Not wearing a seat belt does so put others in danger, your body becomes a projectile, in the least someone’s gonna have to clean up your blood, and what if you’ve got covid, or aids?
L D – My point was not why you wear a seatbelt but that you are told to wear one so you do. Really my point was that I’m sick of the debate. I think I’m going to have to stop following certain group/pages on FB that do nothing but debate the issue. I’m a mask wearer and have been wearing one in public (indoors) before it was mandated.
C H – Yeah. I don’t see why it’s such a huge issue to wear one. Usually people arguing about one, if you look at their Facebook profile, it explains a lot.
D W – Arguably, it could put your passengers in danger, if you launch off while your passengers keep rolling.
C W (to B M) – Not really, do the research on the masks. Seatbelts do save, I’m living proof of that. There is things to be wise about, then things that just make you say HHHMMM.
P B S – Seat belts proven to protect you only. Not the person NOT wearing it.
J S – There was much testing on seat belt use. A piece of cloth over one’s face mishandled can SPREAD the disease.
C B – Please… we adjusted to all other safety rules that have been put in the place from wearing a seatbelt to taking our shoes off at security just go ahead and wear a mask.
B J – There are exemptions to being required to remove shoes.
T M R – really lol
C W – Have you ever thought about carrying it on your shoes after you may have stepped in someone’s spit?
I was reading the above aloud to my lovely wife Nancy when I reached D W’s “if you launch off while your passengers keep rolling”, and started laughing so hard I handed my phone to her so she could read the rest herself.
I love this exchange. It’s a snapshot of everything that’s right and wrong about social media. Lots of points of view. People not afraid to argue them. Veering off and on topic. Let’s get it all out there.
You know how governments are investigating social media now, looking at whether they should be taxed, and should share their wealth with news organizations whose stories they aggregate?
While they’re at it, what if governments forced all Facebook posters to argue both sides of every issue? And stay on topic while they do it?
Nah, that wouldn’t be any fun.