Zia Hassan

I Wish For Nuance

+++ title = “12” date = 2018 +++

This holiday season, I wish for nuance. If I could give each person a gift, it’d be nuance wrapped in a bow.

I wish for nuance in our news headlines. Our diets and workout plans. Our political stances. Our religions.

I wish for nuance in yoga, nuance in justice, nuance in movies.

Nuance: that little pause, that deepening, that recognition of the difference between grey and taupe. Between a globe and an earth themed beach ball.

Even the definition of nuance is poetry: a shade of difference in meaning.

Nuance in social media, that would be great. After all, news was still social before social media, but the information you get from a face to face conversation is just so much more rich than the information you get from a back and forth Facebook row. More rich and less stained. Even the most subtle non-verbal cues give us so much more than emojis ever will. (Webcams don’t even do it justice; there is magic and data in three dimensions.)

Nuance has become antithetical to the way we process and share information in 2018. To the way we develop and defend our opinions. Emojis and gifs and huge white text over pictures… these devices have taken our worldview hostage.

And in this hostage scenario, nuance is the hero, the negotiator, and forensics all at once.

It’s how we got to this splintered and divided world we live in. The same machine that gave us media personalization (news meant to confirm our biases) is the same machine that took away our ability to let other perspectives change how we see reality.

Bringing nuance back will take hard work, time, patience, and a willingness to step away from Facebook and Twitter.

But it may be our last chance at scraping our way out of the maze.