Recently, I have adopted a completely different attitude towards activism.
The following quote appears in several forms; here is one of them:
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
As an example, let’s suppose Bob, through experience and research, has concluded that social media is bad. This is the first problem: what is good and what is bad? We won’t get into moral philosophy here, but it is clear that what is bad for Bob could be good for someone else.
That someone else is living a happy life (as far as the someone else is concerned). However, Bob expends precious time trying to convince someone else. He gives someone else articles and books he read, but he cannot give someone else his experience. Someone else isn’t interested in the articles or books anyway. Bob is frustrated that many other people don’t see the truth. But does Bob see the truth? We won’t answer that here, either.
But let’s assume that Bob more or less knows the truth. Unless people are actively looking for the truth, it is unlikely that they will genuinely change their opinion on the phenomenon because of Bob’s yelling.
Instead, what if Bob simply minded his own business and followed his principles. I don’t know if there is a term for this kind of behavior. When people ask him to connect on social media, he says only the facts, with a calm mind. He tells them that he does not use social media. If that is not sufficient, the other people will ask him why. Then, he can explain his experience and research, again avoiding anything that sounds “preachy.” If the other people understand his views, they might adopt them. They might not. In the long run, it does not matter.
Now, this will certainly not spread awareness of an “issue” (perhaps other people don’t perceive it as a problem) very quickly. Nevertheless, some people will understand the issue and perceive Bob’s view as the truth.
I have experienced many benefits by acting like Bob at the end. I have more free time, my state of mind is healthier and clearer, I don’t create conflict among people or start arguments about what is right and wrong, (consequently) I get along will other people well, even if I don’t agree with their views, and I have found that people are more willing to talk about an issue when they are not being “preached” to. If I indeed have the correct view, then there should be nothing to worry about.
I would hope that the Humane Tech Community continues to stay clear of dogmatism, and I welcome any thoughts on what I have suggested.