Changing the Conversation

After returning from a “social hiatus”, Aaron Mahnke reflects on the state of “the conversation”:

When are we going to talk about something truly important? How many hundreds of hours have been spent just this week criticizing the decisions of companies that, frankly, never asked us and couldn’t possibly care one iota?

The conversation — the Greater Conversation, mind you — needs to elevate. It needs to push us to greater places, inspire us, challenge us to be better and do better and think better. But right now, the Conversation is laying on the bottom shelf in an abandoned 7-Eleven in rural North Dakota, covered in filth and going nowhere.

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Let’s talk about the things that last. Let’s talk about making lives better around us. Let’s talk about making choices that aren’t about blessing ourselves, but rather about helping others. Let’s talk about the things that would still matter to our great-grandparents, and the things that people will still be talking about when we have grandchildren of our own.

This is another month old article, but it’s just so to the point I had to bring it up. Mahnke’s focus is the return from his “social hiatus”, and the fact that he realized he “didn’t miss anything”. Most people (myself included) spend a lot of time on the internet complaining. It’s a large echo chamber filled with “I don’t know like this”, or “why didn’t [so and so] do this instead?”, or “[person] is such an idiot and here’s why”. The problem is that there is no point to this.

Nothing about these conversations is adding to society or mankind. No one is using their time and energy to make things better, they are just complaining about all of the things wrong in the moment. How many years worth of time were spent reading/writing/talking about the birth of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchild? The signal to noise ratio on the internet continues to spiral out of control.

But if my post proves anything, it’s that we can’t help ourselves. I can’t stop writing about (mostly) unimportant things, and I also can’t stop reading them. Maybe someone will someday find a way to get us out of this rut, but in the meantime, it’s just the way things are.