There have been many reasons to want to segregate ourselves from the world lately: the confusion over ‘Brexit’, the Euro 2016 hooliganism, the Orlando shootings, the Oakland shootings, Trump, terrorism… It seems as though the concepts of peace and unity are a pleasant yet unrealistic and unattainable notion.
With such complex and devastating issues occurring simultaneously within our already fractured society, there is an understandable desperation to seek some form of stability. However, with such frantic need for security comes rash decisions, scaremongering, defensiveness and aggressive self-protectiveness. It is the perfect opportunity for calm, authoritative figures to gain control and manipulate the frightened.
It may be far-fetched to suggest that an Orwellian nightmare is just around the corner, but this is the ideal opportunity for political deceit, brash actions disguised as necessities and the use of scapegoats to diffuse conflict.
To take a very obvious and overused example, Hitler targeted the Jews as a solution for an economic crisis and the devastating after effects of the first World War. He used the residual anti-semitism already felt in the country backed by apparent scientific reasoning delivered to the helpless citizens in a stern, focussed demeanour. He was a father figure when the people needed it the most.
There is no doubt that things need to change politically, socially and culturally so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and the way in which we can all do this is by unifying in our individual actions.
The only way this can truly be done is by education. There are so many conflicting statements being made on social media and it only takes a thoughtless retweet to share information that is untrue or misleading. Of course we are often given conflicting information from the sources we should be able to trust as well, so if you are not completely certain of a fact and it has not been confirmed by several sources without a shared agenda you should feel able to challenge it. Ask for details and someone to be held accountable for providing said information, because living in a democratic society should give us that right.
Education eliminates most fears for humans usually fear the unknown. With this in mind, we can then share our own research with others to allow the truth to infiltrate social media rather than drama and clickbait.
Remember, arguments are never won by shouting the loudest, lashing out or ignoring the situation. Also remember to never feed the trolls…