Someone posted on Facebook yesterday that if you weren’t completely moved by the programme that they had just watched, then ‘unfriend me now’…..I wasn’t moved by it all, so I did unfriend him…..not because I disagreed with him, but in fact because I was intolerant of being told what I should or shouldn’t like.
The thing is some people are hell bent on creating their own echo chamber on social media, where the only content they see is a reflection of their own beliefs, or their own likes and dislikes mirrored in every one that follows them, and verified by how many people press the like button. That sounds like some sort of dystopian tribal nightmare to me. Real friends don’t behave like that.
We are all different, and we like different things. If you want to create a world where everyone likes the same thing as you, you will never grow in any direction, because what you are saying is I’ve seen and learned everything I need to know. Personally, I’ve barely started. Even after being on the planet for 50 years, I’m no closer to understanding a whole myriad of things that confused me as a youngster.
From the age of 5 to about 16 I watched Blue Peter religiously every week. One of the reasons for that was that there wasn’t much choice to do anything else given there was only 3 channels and no internet, but without it I would never have had my imagination sparked by a hundred different things including a certain Mike Oldfield showing us multi-tracking, with a studio full of instruments and a 16 track tape machine, in 1979..
The point is that someone more worldly wise and cleverer than me at the BBC had curated the content in a hope it would be entertaining and educational. It was…mostly… but even the stuff I didn’t like shaped my understanding of what went on in the world.
I try to do the same with my friends. I don’t seek out friends that only listen to Prog, or only have certain political beliefs. Another person wiser than me (Ram Dass) said that when you walk through the forest the trees are all different…some are tall and strong, some have twisted and bent branches, but you should practice turning people into trees and appreciate them just the way they are.