While arguing on the internet is par for the course, in group settings, we’ll do anything to avoid confrontation. Social norms, Ehrlinger argues, dictate that we avoid embarrassing others — lest we fall victim to “second-hand embarrassment.”
We, as a society, have completely forgotten how to debate. The term “civil discourse” shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary. It’s not a thing that people do. It falls in the category of powdered wigs or leeches — things that used to be part of every day life, but now seem archaic, strange and otherworldly.