Lance Scranton: Loud voices
Columnists and opinion writers once held the power and privilege to wield a powerful voice made louder and more influential based upon circulation of newspapers. I grew up reading the opinion page and various columnists in the daily paper because it was all we had to hear the different voices that helped shape our opinion about the world. Today, all that has changed!
With the seismic onslaught of technology and social media it is so much easier to get your voice heard and make your opinions known. No matter who you are, what you think, or how you say it; your thoughts, opinions, and views can be shared in seconds to your hundreds, thousands, or millions of “followers.”
Building up the intellectual capital to express an opinion, make an argument, or expound on a view takes a certain amount of time. Context and reasoning play an imperative role in making your view clear, understandable, and hopefully accepted by those who read your words. Even if you might disagree, you would at least understand the contextual suppositions of the writer and this would, in turn, facilitate an understanding of that point of view.
But, how do you take a process that involves a certain amount of persistent resolution and turn it into a nice neat compact tweet? Well, you don’t, but it doesn’t matter because you can have the loudest voice in the room and share your thoughts in just a few seconds. How many voices do you hear everyday and think to yourself, “Wow, that was really stupid,” or, “Whoa, somebody is gonna be in trouble for saying that!”
It all centers around the demand for intellectual expediency to match our drive-thru, immediate gratification culture. But we still have a deep need to understand the world around us which is even more important these days because everything changes so fast. But it can be difficult to do if you can’t hear because there are so many loud voices.
Debates turn into yelling matches these days, not just in our country, and people think that if they talk loud enough, long enough, and passionately enough that their ideas will win the day. Maybe their ideas will but there are some quieter, more reasonable voices who don’t get all the attention but need to be a part of the conversation.
I hope we are still listening.