On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
My Quora Answer: Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics…? by Lynn Patra
In my previous post, I mentioned preferring to live and work at my current location (Redding, California) and being turned off at the prospect of living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason for my preference is, having already sampled life in more metropolitan, urban regions of California firsthand (through work and school), I am sick and tired of the lack of self control, the deafening, pushy political activism, and the presumption that many have, while trying to force others (uninvited) to talk about politics, that everyone else shares the same opinions and values that you do.
As I state in my Quora answer below, this type of behavior, exemplified by denizens of those regions, extends to the online world, including sites where people are supposed to behave more professionally, like LinkedIn. So, in a way, there’s no getting away from the verbal diarrhea. However, I don’t want this to become a part of the work culture I join. The original Quora question I’m answering here is “Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics, and therefore, they have a more divided country than when culture was more of a focus or even more mundane aspects of life?“
Unequivocally, yes. The old social norm that one should avoid discussing subjects like politics with people you don’t know well has gone out the window. So now, and, unfortunately, even in contexts where people are supposed to behave more professionally (the LinkedIn platform in my case – whether in open forums or private messaging), people feel free to barge in and run their mouths about politics with people they barely know – expecting this to be a bonding activity of all things.
Perhaps due to my different cultural background, I find it weird, repulsive even when others try to bond with me over their political values or opinions on the POTUS. Even when I have political opinions in common with others, politics is not my go-to subject for enriching or deepening relationships. There are many more things to talk about, but this seems to go over the heads of those who’re fanatical about politics. (And by the way, some members of certain cultural groups, like mine, don’t do this at all but this is all but ignored by those who can’t put a lid on their need to barge in with political talk.)
So, the consequence of people barging in and trying to discuss politics with people they barely know is that, without that relationship, people repel each other over differing views – which is exemplified by this trend of polarization that we now have. In contrast, and for many people, if the real friendship formed first then people are more apt to try (by communicating in a more civil way) to preserve the friendship while discussing politics at a later time.
EDIT: By the way, my own experience has taught me that one political faction tends to be more guilty of this social faux pas than others… but I WON’T say who here. Just cut the crap and please OPEN your eyes, observe, and notice the fact that some of the very people you claim to value (other cultural groups) DON’T engage in or enjoy your practice.