More than likely, we all know and love a conspiracy theorist or two. Whether family, or a close friend, there is likely someone in your life who buys in to a conspiracy – or a whole host of them. Sometimes it’s a family member who believes some right-wing things that are meant to sway politics. Other times it’s a close friend who spends most of their time on YouTube and has gone down multiple rabbit holes.
I have these people in my life also – and as much as some of what they tell me has some merit; I also struggle to believe that everything is some big coverup. There is corruption in the world – most definitely. I also don’t believe that mainstream media gives us the entire truth. But when people that you care about are firmly stuck believing people that have been discredited by top scientists, how do you bridge that gap?
One of my closest friends is on that path – and we’ve had to agree to just not talk about those subjects. She is armed with far more facts and figures than I’ll ever have the desire to spend my time accumulating – and therefore arguing against the conspiracies leave me feeling stupid and uneducated. Which I am neither. So we just don’t talk about those topics. But during current times, that becomes difficult as everything is about politics and pandemics.
Recently I started talking with someone from a dating app. He’s lovely, educated, spiritual, kind and handsome. After a few video dates though, I’ve discovered he is also a conspiracy theorist. Who now seems to think it’s his job to educate me. When I look up the people he’s quoting, the majority have been discredited in one way or another. So do you believe that they’re being silenced by the powers that be, or do you believe that they’ve been discredited for good reason?
Our most recent video date (hey, it’s what you do during lockdowns!) got off to a bit of a bad start. I mentioned I was reading a book about alcohol and its’ effect on our bodies and minds. He wholeheartedly agreed in terms of the effects, but staunchly believes that it’s a matter of discipline. That he had been an ‘alcoholic’ when he was younger but then just decided he didn’t like what it was doing to him and cut back. Now he can enjoy a glass of wine and have it be just one. That’s great for him and I’m happy that discipline was what he needed and it worked for him. To tell me though that all anyone needs is discipline and that if they continue down a path of addiction it’s just because they want to – well we needed to change the subject. Pronto!
The next subject became COVID and that was when I realized just how down the conspiracy theory rabbit-hole he is. Hey, I’m open to all kinds of possibilities – and I absolutely think there is more at play than we’re aware of. But I these theories sometimes get so far-fetched that they lose me. I just can’t buy in to them. Yet people that I know are balanced, well educated, intelligent people – believe in these storylines.
So – can I date a conspiracy theorist who by all other counts seems awesome? Or is that a deal breaker? Honestly I don’t know. I know it’s made existing friendships tense – so perhaps not a great starting point. But if we weren’t in this weird point in the world timeline, where everything is unstable and people are looking for answers…would I even know? Or would I even care? These conspiracy things seem to have taken on a whole different level of importance over the past year.
Ultimately, like anything I think it depends how much someone pushes their thoughts on to me – versus being open to conversation. But I don’t know.