If your car’s air conditioning stops, what would you do? Would you try and have it fixed? Or would you discard it to buy another car?
The problem here is a broken A/C unit, and not the entire car. So we take the car to the mechanic with the hopes of fixing this problem. But we don’t treat several of our arguments with the same clarity and nuance.
Digital technology that is “always on” has its advantages and its disadvantages. Yet, any elucidation of its drawbacks leads people to point fingers and call out “hypocrite”. “If you think technology is evil and problematic, do not use it”, they say.
Living abroad teaches you several things about your own country – both the good and the bad. One may miss the rich and diverse cuisine of one’s home country, as well as the warmth of its collectivistic society. At the same time, one could also see sense several problems that are the result of inequality and the systematic disenfranchisement of certain social groups. Yet, pointing those things out leads your fellow countrymen to call out “expat”, and shame you into silence.
Our brains are prone to two problematic tendencies here. The first is to seize upon the negative and ignore the positive – of having a bias towards negativity. The second is to try and neatly classify people into two camps: the proposition and the opposition. That is why we go around saying things like “you’re either part of the solution or your part of the problem”.
The world is a complex place, made wonderful and inclusive thanks to its nuances. Destroying this nuance through oversimplification is akin to sending your car straight to the scrapyard when its air-conditioning shuts down.