We hear this term a lot – especially in the last few months because of the U.S. presidential election. With our country more polarized than ever, many find solace in interacting with like-minded groups or what we like to call them at VISVA, those with Collective Sentiment. All too often we hear things like “oh John is a good guy, but we just can’t talk politics.” This self-sorting is happening all the time. Using “John” as the example, let’s take this one step further. Maybe you know that you can’t talk politics with John, but you like him as a person and want to remain friends with him. So you continue your friendship and talk about other things you may have in common. It can be work, sports, music – you name it. Just not politics.
But what happens when you DO want to talk politics? You don’t want to argue with anyone, but you just want to have a good political discussion with people who affirm you and your beliefs and who have the same values or sentiment as you do. What do you do? You look for like-minded people to discuss politics with.
This is a very simplistic example, but we do this all the time in our everyday lives. If you want to go out for a steak dinner, you don’t invite your vegetarian friend. While you may love your vegetarian friend, you know that they wouldn’t enjoy the restaurant you are going to. So why miss out on that steak that you’re craving or make your friend sit through a meal they don’t like? You wouldn’t. Odds are you will find another outing that you can do with your vegetarian friend that doesn't involve steak. You may not be “like minded” with your friend when it comes to steak, but there are many other things you have in common sentiment around.
Some may look at this and say “you’re closing your mind off to other points of view” and that can be true, but what’s important to note is the definition of like-minded is “having similar tastes or opinions.” Note the word “similar.” It does NOT say that we should have the “same” tastes or opinions. You can be different, but also be like-minded. The two are not mutually exclusive.
We all choose to engage with people in our lives in different ways. We gravitate toward like-minded people not only to affirm our views, but also to learn from them and deepen our understanding of the world around us. Being like-minded is what brings us together and is the foundation of many of our relationships. We gravitate towards people who share our values and beliefs. It’s human nature.
Social media has brought a whole new dimension to being like-minded. It’s a great way to come together with people literally all over the world who share your views, but it can also be too limiting (believe it or not). How many times have you censored yourself on Facebook because you are friends with your Great Aunt Kay who maybe wouldn’t appreciate the photo of you doing a keg-stand? Or have you not posted a photo on Instagram because you don’t want your co-workers to know that you were at a church picnic? While social media has given us the tools to share our lives with people, we don’t always want to share information with EVERY Facebook or Instagram friend.
This topic is at the crux of VISVA’s vision and we’ll be talking a lot about it in the weeks and months ahead. We want to hear from you though. What does like-minded mean to you?
Also, want to be the first to get VISVA? Then get invited @ www.visva.com/getinvited!