Growing up it was a rare job to write for a magazine or a newspaper. Today, if you have a computer and an internet connection you can write and post almost anywhere on the web. Magazines, in days gone by, had people on staff that wrote what was called columns. It is much cheaper to pay free lance writers on a per article basis. We are inundated with armchair quarterbacks that have the backing of major magazines. I have noticed a few trends with this form of writing.
- The more controversial the article in some cases the better. Facts have become partially true, innuendos and sometimes just plain rumors. The vetting that was once done is now a grammar check and publish.
- No expertise needed here. I remember a day when placing your name on something you wrote was serious. Today, retractions are a rare occurrence. Most mistakes are chalked up as opinion and the internet feeds on misinformation.
- It is a waste of time to debate anything dealing with women’s rights, political correctness, politics, religion, etc…. Once people have made up their minds, they become instant experts at any subject. Do not confuse a good conversation with facts, they are glorified opinions and will not be admitted into the discussion.
- When faced with losing a discussion, resort to name calling, bias labeling, accusations and the more contentious the debate the worse the accusations. I have been wrong more times in my life than I care to admit. Humility is lost on the arrogant, they will just chalk it up to your weakness, lack of facts or that you are just uneducated.
The search for truth about a subject is much harder to do these days. We have an entire generation that believes everything posted to Twitter and Facebook. Not vetting needed, start a rumor and see how far it will go before someone actually checks out the facts. I used to teach a Sunday school class about 20 years ago. The average age for the class was 34. I would ask a question: “Do you think the same way you did at the age of 20? Many people would laugh and say they think differently at 34 then at the age of 20. I would then follow up with a second question “Which thinking was correct?” If you were wrong about things at the age of 20, you are probably wrong about things at the age of 34. Expert, what an overused term.