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What if social media was run like a bar?

Political Theater, Episode 128

At bars like The Tune Inn on Capitol Hill, if you act like a jerk, you get thrown out. Could that work for social media?
At bars like The Tune Inn on Capitol Hill, if you act like a jerk, you get thrown out. Could that work for social media? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Do you think Mark Zuckerberg went to a lot of bars when he was in college?” That question is more relevant than you would think, when you’re talking about someone in charge of the way people communicate.

Social media was going to connect people by bringing them into a common shared space to exchange views, jokes and news. But it has become a dominant force that enhances political and cultural divides, and that is largely a result of its founders being people who never learned how to get along with others, like in a bar, says podcaster and author Brandon Wetherbee.

If social media was run like a bar, a place where people gathered and where everyone has to respect each other or get thrown out, things might be very different.

That may be a pipe dream, but it is one worth considering. Because the only way to survive, whether it’s an election, a war, a plague or a relationship, is to be able to understand where someone else is coming from. Bars are one of the places people learn to understand one another. Note: This isn’t to say effective politicians, or people in general, have to drink to be OK. But they should know how to get along with others.

Show Notes:

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