Modern Civilization, Technology, & Dangers of Uninformed Critics & Crusaders


EDITORIAL:

Modern Technology and The Deceit of Social Media: With the advent of modern technology and the prominence of social media in today's global civilization, many people now have access to gadgets that help in the obtaining and dissemination of information. And to the audiences sometimes vulnerable at best, there is an endless but prompt supply of news about "unusual" and catchy events of both private and public affairs around the globe further recycled by the ever growing number of all kinds of bloggers. Today a single event that occurs in one far corner of the world is promptly reported and shared via social media across the farthest continents of the world. Most bloggers and media hosts attract and hold their audiences with outrageous comments and shock content to gain traffic, rankings, or raise revenue. There is little time given to the vetting of news. People now make conclusions before they have any reasonable amount of knowledge of the true facts on the ground.

Armchair Critics: Just to mention a few. When a plane disappears somewhere around Malaysia, talking heads as far as Europe and America give us endless theories of what happened based on their 'assumptions,' even though the true story remains unknown. When incidents of crime or violence occur in distant countries, distant critics comment, analyze, defend, condemn, and state what the concerned authority should or should not do. Most times these comments are made without having any practical evidence or first hand knowledge of what actually transpired besides what was seen on a video clip, a picture frame, or as reported on social media.

Prejudice And Need For Tolerance And Understanding: While it may be okay to share one's knowledge or perspective to help inform others or resolve situations, it becomes of concern when a person thinks that the tenets, culture, or lifestyles of others are wrong simply because such lifestyles appear strange and non-conforming to what such a person may  perceive to be the normal way of living, thinking, culture, and laws. It amounts to prejudicial thinking even when such conclusions are drawn from fragments of facts and incomplete information about the relevant situation, sometimes obtained from a brief comment, picture or limited video clip.

There is no doubt that as people interact and learn of the cultures of others, they naturally find differences some of which appeal to them and some of which they disapprove. Nevertheless, no particular society on earth exclusively owns the superiority of culture and ways of living. Accordingly, no particular society (or critic) should arrogate to itself the authority to condemn or advocate the eradication of the cultures and lifestyles of other societies without first consulting and obtaining the consent and convictions of the subjects of such other society. Rather, there has to be mutual respect accompanied by sincere and objective desire to understand such other cultures or ways of life before one would venture to advocate for a change. If a culture is found to be inhumane or barbaric and without fair value in the present day and age, the people who practice such culture could be convinced to understand the need for adjustment of their ways. There is an unfairness and injustice inherent in any attempt to forcefully stop or coerce any society to change it's culture and ways of living based solely on outside assessment.

Crusade or Invasion of Space: For some reason, when some people learn about things they perceive to be abnormal, they put on their amateur hats of criticism and become judges over the parties involved in the situation even when they have no idea of the circumstances surrounding the event nor do they have any first hand experience of the situation. Some simply launch barrage of attacks and criticism based on fragmented knowledge. Others easily appoint themselves to be crusaders of some sort of global cultural reconciliation believing that they are fighting a course for the oppressed or the deprived when they are in some cases actually invading the spaces of such people and interfering with the laws of life and nature. For a crusade to be fair, it has to be motivated and guided by love and follow the approach of non-compulsion, and appreciate the fact that cultures, laws, and moral standards vary from one society to another, and that what is right in one society may not be right in the other and vice versa.

If we expect our opinions, perspectives, and ways of life to be respected even by those we criticize or disagree with, we have to learn to grant such other persons the space, respect, love, and freedom to accept or decline what we offer or share with them. That is the true test of how appropriate, genuine, and reasonable our perspective may be. The goal of global cultural reconciliation is indeed a tough one to embark on in view of the fact that people are variously born and raised to imbibe the culture of their heritage and environment regardless of what others may think about such culture. Approaching the reconciliation of such differences with love and according others their respect while doing so would provide the atmosphere conducive for such reconciliation apart from affording us the opportunity to check our excesses should we have unconsciously or mistakenly engaged on a selfish adventure and power-trip. This is just my understanding. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oliver Oscar Mbamara is an attorney & admin judge, an award-winning filmmaker, actor, poet, and a published writer. For more on Oliver Mbamara, visit www.OliverMbamara.com

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