Scranton: B.Y.O.B. |

Scranton: B.Y.O.B.

Lance Scranton

The world is getting smaller just when it should be getting bigger and more inclusive. But, maybe that’s how it has to be as cultures are able to peer into just about everyone’s business, and some are saying, “that’s not for me!” There are so many hot-button issues that we have so much more information about, and it has become increasingly more difficult to listen to any voice other than the one that strikes the most fearful response.

Just about anyone who uses social media to spread their ideas or opinions is now carefully monitored to make certain they are “following community standards” and not “asserting questionable or false and misleading information.” Wow! How is that for a recipe to make sure that whatever thoughts and opinions you don’t like are scrubbed and not even allowed to be considered.

Just how do we expose the misinformation if we aren’t even allowed to read it anymore? Why is it that so many people willingly and mindfully have stopped asking questions when we have at our disposal so many avenues of potential discussion and debate? It’s gotten to the point where some fairly influential people who speak for other smart, caring, persuasive, and dedicated friends and colleagues are being ripped away from the very platforms that celebrate the free exchange of ideas.

Is it any wonder we’ve become more closed-minded than ever before, willing to grasp onto whichever conversation feed makes us feel safest without even considering the alternative? It used to be that alternative and words like unique, different, not obvious, out-of-the-mainstream, and challenging were attitudes that shaped our nation. But now if you question an idea, concept, or decision, there are certain otherwise-thinking people who will try to compare you to a terrorist.

We are Americans, endowed by our creator with inalienable rights — not some bunch of reason-starved barbarians waiting to hoist our caveman ideas and attitudes on whichever group holds power. We talk, and argue, and disagree, and debate, and have difficult conversations, and we collect information to help inform and develop our healthy and responsible mistrust of government (which used to be wildly popular among those in power right now).

So, when you are reading, talking, discussing and researching, Bring Your Own Brain — it’s the only one you have and it’s yours — don’t give it up to someone else. We will all be better off!

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