A recent podcast episode by Planet Money entitled ‘On Second Thought’ brought my attention to a subreddit called Change My View. In this post i would like to share a little about this discovery. The premise of the CMV sub is as follows:
“A place to post an opinion you accept may be flawed, in an effort to understand other perspectives on the issue. Enter with a mindset for conversation, not debate”
You can find more info here should you wish to learn more. I highlight this particular sub because all things considered i am a complete Reddit addict, and consider (like most redditors) myself to be well informed and from a fairly diverse set of inputs and influences.
It’s what most Reddit users love about the service, you get a seemingly endless stream of links to content that you might otherwise not be subject to, collated by the masses and purely because you subscribed yourself to a certain subreddit which pertains to deal with a particular set of topics, events or subject matter; of which you decided to become exposed to, from multiple perspectives.
And so as you can imagine r/changemyview attracts many typical redditors (some 333,802 at last count) as this is often where one realises the benefits the most from continued usage of Reddit for daily consumption of content; whether it news, current events of more specialised subs that allow you to educate yourself and discuss with others around any given subject.
So why should anybody choose to post in
public an opinion they accept may be flawed?
Apart form the anonymity reddit affords its users, for me i think it’s a fundamental societal value we share our opinions and beliefs in an effort to have them challenged in public, and in a jury of our peers, i feel it’s more useful than to have our private beliefs held close, so close that they are never discussed from alternative perspectives.
Those who have their beliefs held privately; never sharing them amongst the common discourse risk missing out on becoming more open in how they view others and the world in general. I do fear this makes us less connected and appreciative of each other, and will eventually end in individuals taking such extreme positions on their views and beliefs that they feel compelled to act in a way most would deem plain wrong. (See endless list of terrorist incidents)
Have you posted something in r/changemyview in an effort to learn something about yourself? How did it go? If you are yet to post there, please do not forget to read the rules before posting and prepare to learn something new about your view.