To the degree that social media encourages us to look at others and treat that perspective as the only one to be considered, it has contributed to the breaking of our politics. We must, as Lewis said, “on the pain of idiocy,” deny that “looking at” is intrinsically more true or better than “looking along.” Today, we must also deny that “tweeting at” is the equivalent of dialogue, discussion, or understanding.
If we are to repair the worst aspects of today’s social-media
politics, we should start by not just looking at others but attempting
to look along their experiences as well. That requires us to do the
harder work of taking ideas seriously and treating the experience,
values, and beliefs of others as being worthy of actual consideration
and respect, rather than reflexively dismissing them with jargon-laced
hostility or the dismissive shrug.
These are the last lines from a recent Op Ed I offered riffing on C. S. Lewis' magnificent "Meditations in a Toolshed." You can read the rest of the article here.