The internet is a wonderful place or thing or whatever it is, because there are millions of people always standing by, just waiting to share ideas and opinions, but the internet can also be an awful place or thing or whatever it is, because there are millions of people always standing by, just waiting to share ideas and opinions.
The Internet brings like minded people together, which can be a good thing.
Folks who think Ford makes the best pickup truck can easily find other people online who share this opinion. There is nothing wrong with loving one’s Ford truck, and being able to talk about it with others, mostly strangers even, who feel the same way, is great.
Ford truck owners might discuss where the best places to buy a Ford truck in their area is, or what sort of accessories are available to make their truck owning experience the best it can be.
All good things for sure.
Inevitably though, online talk can turn from why we love Ford trucks so much to why don’t other people love Ford trucks like we do? Why would somebody choose to drive a GMC or a Chevy truck when there are Ford trucks out there?
Interspersed with pr0- Ford truck comments will be memes or Tweets or posts about why Ford trucks are better than Chevy trucks. The memes or Tweets or posts are meant to be funny, of course, but posting such anti-Chevy content in a pro-Ford online forum is also a way for the poster to feel validated by the likes and shares that he or she will get on their anti-Chevy offering.
It’s a way for the original poster, and those who enjoy the post, to solidify their opinion that Ford trucks are the best, and anything that isn’t a Ford truck is inferior. Talk in the online group has shifted somewhat from how to get the most out of being a Ford truck owner to why we’re all right to be Ford truck owners compared to other truck owners.
This line of reinforcement isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, when talking trucks. Ford makes nice pickup trucks for sure, and not liking Chevy trucks doesn’t make one a bad person, assuming one isn’t judging the owner of the Chevy truck. The risk is that there might be a better truck out there for these Ford owners, but they’ll never hear of it now.
It’s also possible though, that the creator of the anti-Chevy meme doesn’t even own a Ford truck. Maybe he can’t afford one, but hopes to one day be a Ford truck owner. Maybe his ex-girlfriend drove a Chevy truck, or maybe he doesn’t even like Ford trucks himself, perhaps he’s a Nissan Truck guy. Nothing in the Internet rule book says that a Nissan truck guy can’t post his funny anti-Chevy memes to get a few laughs and stir the pot between the Ford and Chevy people.
Anti-Chevy memes will be countered by pro-Chevy truck owners with anti-Ford memes, and it will go back and forth between the two groups for all the world to see.
Chevy owners will post facts and stats about Chevy trucks to reinforce their stance, while Ford owners will do the same thing to put their beloved Fords in a better light.
Both sides are so passionate about their love for their own trucks, that they’ll not listen to reason from the other side. It’s very rare that a pro-Ford guy will post pro-Chevy content in order to have a discussion with his pro-Ford buddies about the validity of the pro-Chevy information.
No way. Instead, both sides will limit their posts to either entirely favorable to their side content, or damning content about the other side.
“I heard that Chevy trucks are known to blow up in rear end collisions,” a Ford owner might post, not knowing whether or not this is true.
Ford owners will like and share the unresearched post thousands or even millions of times, until it doesn’t even matter whether there’s truth to the statement that Chevy trucks blow up in rear end collisions.
It’s out there and in the minds of millions of viewers, many of whom are potential future truck buyers.
Chevy owners will counter with memes and stats of their own, but their protestations will fall on deaf ears from the other side. Ford owners want only to hear good things about Ford, and nothing about other trucks, unless it’s negative information that makes Fords better by implication.
Meanwhile, between the two truck owning groups, are those in the middle of the argument.
The people in the middle can be swayed to one side or the other. Some who think that Chevy trucks could blow up in a rear end collision will side with Ford owners, while others, who at one time or another thought they wanted to be truck owners, will mentally shut themselves down anytime Chevy or Ford trucks are brought up in conversation because they’ve lost interest in truck ownership entirely.
All of the bickering is just too much for them at some point, so they’ll just continue to drive a sedan.
Those who are still interested in truck ownership though, and who are rational in spite of all the protestations from both sides, might be able to make use of all the rhetoric from both sides to make a more informed decision.
Perhaps a potential truck owner never considered that a truck could blow up if rear ended hard enough, but now has online information to at least use to research the veracity of that claim.
The rational middle ground crowd will sift through the piles of information on both sides and attempt to sort fact from fiction.
Unlike pro-Ford or pro-Chevy people, the middle grounders will post information that is both positive and negative about both truck groups. In doing so, conversation can be had on their posts with people from both sides of the debate, as well as with people who still haven’t made up their minds. Some of those people who are on neither side of the debate, but who do enjoy pickup trucks, might share relevant information about other trucks, like Toyotas.
Toyota truck owners will then come out of the woodworks to share their reasons for loving the Toyota brand. While Ford and Chevy owners continue to battle back and forth, rational middle grounders will now research other options, like Toyotas, to make a more informed decision.
While their research might lead them to buy a Toyota truck, it’s also possible that they’ll be persuaded by their research to go with a Ford truck. Maybe they will join an online Ford discussion group based on their purchase decision and bring some rational thought to the group now based on their research.
When these online talks aren’t about trucks, but are rather about rights or race or sex or bathrooms or kids or breast feeding or circumcision, etc., the middle grounders are trying to be heard over the yelling from both sides.
In my own online world, I have friends who are very much either Chevy or Ford owners, and will be until the bitter end.
I read posts from my friends about race and sex and guns and the end of civilization being near, and it makes me roll my eyes sometimes.
I can admit that.
But it also makes me smarter.
Many of my online friends are thoughtful and bright, and can have an argument about something with the understanding that a disagreement over a particular topic doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends. A person can be either pro or anti gun legislation and still be a Cardinal’s fan.
We can agree to disagree about gun legislation and agree as well that the Cardinals need help to win the wild card and that we both hate the Cubs.
I’ve never been gay or a young black man or an immigrant or a rich white guy, so I have to learn perspectives about these people, who all want my support, from these very people, before making a decision.
That’s why the Internet can be so cool. I have friends of all these different types and I listen when each of them says something.
I will be swayed with facts and logic and my own sense of what is morally correct.
Shouting and anger and finger pointing won’t win my vote.
Also, talk to me about the side that you don’t support and why I shouldn’t support them. A person able to make the argument from both sides is a person I want to listen to. If you’re pro-gun rights, but can’t even understand the arguments being made by those who want to limit those rights, then you haven’t really done your homework.
Many of my police friends are completely against the Black Lives Matter movement and refuse to try to understand where the discontentment comes from. Learning where the anger is truly coming from will only help in our discussions moving forward, about how to deal with the issues, many of which are probably not even police related.
I want to hear what both sides have to say, but I want both sides to hear and understand what the others have to say about their opposite views.
I want more information to be a better citizen.
Talk to me about the Toyotas.