The Growing Silence
We live in a world where so much of what we see is fake. The social media landscape, while fun, has flaws. The nature of any public profile limits our speech. Is it worth risking social awkwardness for my opinions? My friends? How about my job? For most, the answer is no.
Opinions are a core part of what it means to be human. Even today, before you started to read this post, you’ve likely had thousands of opinions…even if they lived in your subconscious. You may have driven past a McDonald’s on your way to work or seen a bumper sticker that read “Make America Great Again.” You might have noticed a couple arguing on the train or felt joy as you thought about your favorite TV show.
If you are like most people, the opinions you hold are going silent. Our culture is forcing many people to keep quiet. This is a problem. Why? Science shows that sharing your opinion triggers the part of the brain related to connectedness and joy. We all desire to be known in this world. We want to feel we have a voice. We want to belong.
Where do you belong? Better
what’s your tribe? Since the dawn of time humans have been forming tribes to better
themselves. Some of us are Democrats, some Republicans. Maybe you’re an anarchist. Tribes
go beyond the political, you can be in a tribe called the New York Yankees, or the Los Angeles Lakers.
How do you identify yourself? A hipster? A techie? A professional? A saint? A sinner?
Our tribes are what give us identity. Even the renegade who is “off the grid” and a
recluse from society has identified themselves in a tribe of their own making.
Tribes make life more fun, meaningful, easier to understand. Yet, what happens when
the tribe becomes too strong? When we identify too closely with our own group?
You hold the truth
You may be in a bubble. Don’t be alarmed. Most of us are. It’s natural. As humans, we seek out people who are similar to us. We form these bubbles in politics & beyond. There is danger in bubbles, as you know. They keep us isolated from truly understanding the larger tribe; i.e. our fellow Americans or the humans across Earth.
For thousands of years, even when there were just rumors of revolution on the streets of Rome, people have wanted to know what the public thought. Why? Some would say it’s simple curiosity, others might prescribe a higher meaning to finding “human connection”. Regardless, people want to know what you think. They want to know how the two of you compare.