January 8, 2022
I used to be a little bemused by those people who show up in opinion polls as the
‘don’t knows’. What d’you mean you don’t know? Surely you have an opinion? But
years of Twitter-watching has changed my mind. I miss the ‘don’t knows’ and I wish
we had more of them.
It’s now verging on a truism to say that society has become increasingly polarised
and intolerant. Social media doesn’t do nuance or shades of grey - you’re either right
or you’re wrong. And if the mob thinks you’re wrong, you’d better get your pith
helmet and duck for cover.
Political issues in the UK haven’t helped. Brexit and Scottish independence are
clearly hugely divisive but throw in other hot potatoes, such as the trans/feminism
furore or vaccination conspiracy theories, and its fisticuffs ahoy.
Thankfully, debate among the sober-suited networks of LinkedIn tends to be more
measured but, even here, there are a lot of people who are adamant that they are
right and everyone else is wrong. No doubt, I’ve been one of them, and I probably
will be again.
Yet in our more reflective moments, I think most of us realise that the world would be
a much better place with less angry, shouty people, of all political allegiances – not
just the ones we disagree with. We’ve got a lot on our hands from the pandemic,
climate change and international political tensions to labour shortages, the supply
chain crisis and where Reese Witherspoon got her latest floral puffer jacket from (I
don’t know but you can find out in today’s newspapers).
To get through all this, it would really help if we all tried harder to listen to each other,
be open-minded, compromise and accept the shocking reality that we might not
always be right about things.
Is Novak Djokovic a saint or a scumbag? I could venture my opinion that, like most of
us, he’s probably somewhere in between. But, to be honest, I don’t really know.