Since we were kids, we’ve been pretty taught that there is usually a two contrasting party system in place and that you need to pick a side. Whether it’s the perceived concept of good versus evil, rooting for the local sports team, being picked for a team or political party (in the US); we’ve been trained that we must choose a side. Sometimes we pick the lesser of two evils do to not liking one choice for whatever reason, the anybody but the Yankees mantra. Somehow human nature made this rule up, rarely can your view be anything in between black & white unless the subject isn’t important to you. If you’re neutral, many consider that as a sign that you don’t know enough information to make a decision. But why is that?
I bring this topic up because I along with many others on social networks see and somehow get passionately involved in these debates every day. I believe as human beings, we are naturally led by our emotions and rivalries trigger those feelings. Debates are of course discussions over opposing views. Does there have to be a best Smartphone or OS? Does there have to be a Twitter vs Facebook debate? Gowalla vs Foursquare? Star Wars vs Star Trek , etc. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a view on any of these things but why do we feel so passionate that there is only one right answer and it’s ours?
In many cases, there is no right or wrong answer but it seems that everybody has it. The answer you have is the answer for you and I’m sure that you have good reasons for your position on whatever subject. I think it’s healthy to discuss and debate these things and perhaps share a piece of information that perhaps they did not know. You can say that you are trying to influence your position and help that’s position’s momentum. But we all need to realize that trying to influence someone who has a strong opposing view on the debate is highly unlikely to change that person’s position. Yes, we will take cheap shots at the other side when problems or signs of weakness arise and perhaps the bias has blinded the person from establishing a well-balanced conclusion but we believe in what we want to believe which is very difficult to change. But in many ways even two opposing views still brings us together as a community, a ying needs a yang to complete the circle and add balance.
Call us fanboys but just be thankful that we have choice in this world and let others choose the other team. The word Choice seems to be overused in certain topics as of late however it is really one of the greatest gifts we have. We should embrace choice and diversity, the goal is not to influence a person to see things our way but to know that multiple solutions exist because of different types of people and needs. Competition and rivalry fosters passionate innovation in multiple directions which is good for everyone!