One of the biggest problems in the world today is that nobody wants to be wrong.
Being residents of a polarized world, we are often faced with views and concerns that rival our own. This has resulted in people avoiding any information that makes them feel bad or obligated to do something they do not want to do. Another arising issue is how defensive people are becoming when their worldview is challenged, rather than listening to the other side or even agreeing to disagree. I have felt like these are growing issues in society for sometime now, but it had not personally effected me until recently.
A few weeks ago I published an article that was intended to be a satire. Despite what I thought was obvious sarcasm, many people were offended by my article. I was accused of “spreading divisive ideas" and “putting women in boxes.” Some people read my article and thought I was tearing down women, rather than empowering them, when in my mind, I was simply joking. In this process of my article being criticized, I felt the same way that people were claiming I had made other women feel by the words written in my article. For this reason, I issued a public apology and stated my true intentions, but since then people have still made claims that my true intentions were not what I stated them to be. Like I said earlier, nobody wants to be wrong.
This is a frivolous example of one of the biggest problems in the world today, but it is what brought this issue to my close attention. Everyone lives in their own version of reality in which they face their own problems, but tend to avoid any other problems that they do not know how to solve. People are even going through the efforts of filtering their Facebook and Twitter feeds from certain words or names. Why are they doing this? I can think of two reasons. If they can avoid the problem, they do not have to agree with the solution, or if they do not acknowledge the problem, there is no need for a solution.
When the first step to solving a problem is to recognize the problem itself, people make solving this issue near impossible with these efforts of information avoidance.
People have began to take this course of action because they have grown to only accept someones views if they do not challenge their own, or are possibly framed in a way that resonates with their personal values and beliefs.
Society can only get out of this hole that it has dug for itself if people recognize the tendency we have as humans to avoid anything we do not like. Until this happens we will remain in an intolerant, polarized world in which people believe themselves to be entitled to a lot more than just their opinions.