Everyone evolves socially. We can tell ourselves things like "This is just the way I am", but we never stop learning and we all have the potential to pick up a new mannerism no matter how set we are in our ways.
Social media has taught me a lot about people, people I thought I knew and thereby considered to be good people. Outside of social media, and sometimes within it, we're wary of certain subjects that would benefit everyone if they were not brought up. Politics, religion and identity are three very vague concepts that can easily make good friends into bitter enemies.
That was a big setup, for my rant on Social Media and how it's taught me to hate a lot of people I thought I knew as friends. There's two big layers to this complaint, so I'll break it down.
The Social Media method of arguing like an asshole:
Click for Spoiler:
Even if someone knows that they're dead wrong in an argument and that they don't have a leg to stand on, they absolutely NEVER admit that they were wrong.
Above all else, they attempt to put you one the defensive. They'll question the validity of your statement and will often ignore your point completely, thus prompting you to defend what you've said and have to further explain your obvious point.
My situation was that someone I've known to be a pretty good friend posted something to the effect of this:
Q: Who was the first Muslim terrorist?
Now, the first thought in my mind after reading that was that I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. I thankfully have never argued with them over social media. They're all wonderful people, and from what I've learned the Prophet Muhammad wasn't a terrorist. I realize that we all have our opinions on Islam, but I hope that anyone reading this would also think that it's a pretty fucked up thing to say to label a religion's messiah as a terrorist.
I posted a reply asking: Which Muhammad?
I admit that I was being a smart ass, but it was the nicest way I could have responded to what he said.
His response (a day and a half later) was something to the effect of: Ali would have terrorized me if I was in the ring with him.
Alright, fine. Now he's being funny. Long story not quite as long, I told eventually told him to go fuck himself and unfriended him. I resorted to that because in his responses he implied that I was stupid for not immediately drawing the conclusion that he was speaking of the Prophet Muhammad, and he kept taking cheap shots in regard to my methods of argument. Now, I've had my moments on these forums, so I know it's not that difficult for some of you to imagine me going off track or losing track completely.
Let me be blunt, this guy is a fucking moron. I throw that term around a lot, but to have him ridiculing me and how I predicated my points was more than I could forgive. We all have those friends, friends who are cool people when they stay in their lane.
This isn't an isolated case. I can't stomach Twitter because most people I run into on Twitter use the exact same method of chipping away at my faith in the human race. If they can't justify what they said, they'll resort to any means to break you down emotionally and permanently derail the argument. People are learning, through the comfort and freedom that social media allows them, to cope with their lack of integrity by trying to bait anyone who disagrees with them into living in their world of shit.
Selective statistics creating false impressions:
Click for Spoiler:
I prefer to keep friends who are capable of understanding what they don't know, and are capable of conducting their own research if they're told something with a tone of callous certainty.
The new strategy among the shitheads who've matured backwards as a result of social media is to cite an FBI statistic that they claim proves their point. It should be noted that they'll often not state their point, in that outright saying that they hate Black people, immigrants or Muslims would give away the fact that they selected specific pieces of information to mislead on behalf of their hatred. They'll make a vague post, and expect you to connect the dots and join their cause.
It works like this:
Statistic A shows that there's disproportionately more convictions of a demographic regarding crime when compared to White people. Therefore Statistic A will be posted without regard to other statistics.
Statistic B shows that percentages of instances of illegal activity are even among demographics, though convictions are disproportionate. Thus painting a picture that institutionalized discrimination plays a role.
Statistic C shows that, when compared to White people, a demographic is disproportionately more often accosted by police officers in spite of being a minority in the community.
If you weigh more than one statistic regarding an assumption of potential, you see a much bigger picture. I'm seeing people I thought I knew as good people falling for the scheme of having their delusions validated by a cherry picked statistic, and outright admitting that they think that certain demographics are predisposed to commit violent crime. They'd never go there if they were having a conversation outside of social media, social media gives them the confidence to let their inner racist asshole blossom.