I’d like to welcome everyone to the era of “What’s your point?”
Intellectual and pseudo-intellectual discourse has been going on ever since man was able to put enough words together to form a point (both coherent and incoherent). I don’t believe we are at a time in history of exceptionally stupid people. I do believe however, that the internet has helped give a voice to both the masses and the individual. One of the problems that we have found is that many individuals don’t talk so good. This wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that things stay on the internet FOREVER and the internet is EVERYWHERE.
For those reasons, I believe it’s high time we start asking people who share their opinions in a public forum, “What’s your point?” This might best be explained by a personal example:
I was at a bar with a group of friends on Halloween. One of my friends brought a coworker, who was an accomplished young lawyer working at one of the more successful law firms in Chicago. This was a week before the 2012 elections so a certain amount of political discussions could be expected. In this instance, our conversation fell to the situation in Benghazi. The lady had been actively following the situation which, by some news outlets, had been deemed as a massive cover-up by the Obama administration. She sputtered out “facts” that she received from a single news source. When someone asked her a question about a detail, she vituperatively said, “you’ve got to learn the facts!” After she hijacked the conversation for 20 minutes, I stopped her and asked, “What’s your point?”
“I’m saying that Obama is a terrorist” she aggressively responded.
“So he’s a terrorist for his actions or lack thereof in this situation?” I ask.
“No! Not just this. Other stuff too!”
“So you’re claiming that the American president is an American terrorist? Interesting. What’s your point in claiming that at a bar with strangers on Halloween?”
“Doesn’t it bother you that your president is a terrorist?”
“I clearly am not sold on that point, but, more importantly to me right now is to find out what’s your point in trying to convince me, a stranger, that the American president is a terrorist?”
Then the conversation broke down a bit before it got better. She thought I was being argumentative by that line of questioning and I had to clarify that I was genuinely curious to hear her answer. Ultimately, she didn’t have one, but I approached her with no judgment and a certain amount of respect. Afterwords, the group kept hanging out and ended up talking and smoking hookah back at her place while watching Fox.
My point of this story is this: I believe we need to start holding each other accountable for what’s being said in public. Freedom of speech is not at risk, but PURPOSE of speech certainly is. When we fill the internet with ill defined, poorly worded misstatements throughout our discussions and comments, we miss out on some of the true power of progress that the internet empowers us to have. We can do better then what we’re currently doing and the easiest way to get there is just to ask people who provide their opinions in a public forum: “What’s your point?”
The “What’s Your Point?” Era is here!!!! CAN YOU DIIIIIGGGG IIIIITTTTT!!!!!