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Sash's Quick 'n' Easy Guide to Rational Reactions to Sensationalism

Hello delightful reader! You have stumbled upon this page because, likely, you have been linked it! Probably by me, or someone else. It doesn't matter.

In this post I am going to explain, in some simple steps how to be a better human being and use that thought-noggin' up in your skull properly! So, let's take a look at how to be a rational Human.

Step One; Stop and THINK

Hear, read or see something sensationalist? Something that really rustles your jimmies! Hold on there, before you go and post it all over Social Media with the emotions that are now running wild, Stop and THINK.

  • Identify Sensationalist Drama designed to get clicks / views or rile people up. News websites do this a LOT. YouTubers do this A LOT. Social Media is notorious for this.

  • Discard random posts from people that do not cite any credible sources. "I heard from" is not enough to base your own argument and point on. Sure, you can share what you heard but it is not sufficient to base an argumentative position which you then use to argue with others. SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A CREDIBLE SOURCE.

  • Let your emotions cool before you act. Perhaps the most important point, and coming from someone with BPD, I cannot understate the importance of letting yourself cool off from reading a provocative or sensationalist piece and then acting immediately on those emotions. You are being part of the problem!

Step Two; Play the Devil's Advocate

I mentioned this before in my other post on this subject, and I will mention it again here. This is a really important step, so follow closely.

  • Try and make an argument for the other side, the side you vehemently disagree with. It is ESSENTIAL to consider the opposing view point in order to free yourself from emotional confirmation bias and get a better picture.

  • Really think about the REASONS that could be behind what you found unacceptable. Think OUTSIDE THE BOX. Understand that correlation is not causation and many true reasons are nested behind Red Herrings and False Positives. RESEARCH IT BEFORE USING IT AS A BASE FOR YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT.

Step Three; RESEARCH

The penultimate step is just as important. This point focuses on learning and education, because that is the solution to essentially all of humanity's problems, more or less.

  • Do your own research on the topic you heard about. Read about it. Read LOTS OF VIEWPOINTS, NOT JUST ONES THAT ALIGN WITH YOURS (See Step 2) Confirmation bias destroys rational thought and reasoning processes.

  • In many cases you will find that the core details are more convoluted and detailed than the simple sensationalist drama that triggered you, and in some cases, you may even align more with the opposing argument now that you have calmy researched it.

Step Four; Embrace your fallibility.

This is probably the most important step of all.

  • Do not be afraid to be wrong. You will be wrong sometimes. It is not about being right or wrong, it is about seeing the bigger, clearer picture.

  • Identify that you might be arguing due to insecurity or the inability to accept an uncomfortable truth over something you integrated into your identity - for example, long-standing viewpoints that were challenged. Remember that it takes the strongest minds to accept when they are wrong and incorporate that lesson into being a better person.

I wrote this from my own experiences with falling into these traps. I hope it helps.

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