This picture of a quilt, where someone had sewn together a representation of graphs of temperature data and UK COVID deaths reminded me of the way that the chosen medium influences the nature of a conversation.

data quilt

In a lot of recent online debate, I’ve seen people talk past each other, spurred on by the nature of the platform they’re using. When you’re using a free platform to have your conversation, and that platform is trying to maximise time-on-site by stirring up conflict so it can sell ever-more-targeted advertising, you might be choosing a particular path for a conversation to take.

If you were seeking to resolve a conflict between two close friends, you would not have them stand in the middle of a town square, using megaphones. The choice of medium matters.

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