I think maybe this Information Age — social media in particular — has resulted in a world where we know too much about each other too soon. Worse yet, we know the wrong things before we know the important things. People post the most flattering images, which are designed to build their “brand,” and keep people coming back. The “look at me” culture that results from this has exacerbated whatever existing polarization we were already dealing with. There’s no time to get to “know” someone before we find out something about them that might separate us from them.
The following beer commercial (Heineken) is brilliant. People are pre-recorded in short interviews, responding to potentially controversial questions. Then they are paired with a “random” stranger with whom the clearly — bun unbeknownst to them — have some sort of conflict, based on those interviews. The pair is tasked to follow instructions to build something out of parts — a bar, as it turns out.
Then, after having spent that time working on a common purpose together, they are asked to watch a short clip of each of their own recorded interviews — revealing some underlying polarizer (that they have apparently not uncovered themselves yet). Then, they are offered a choice to enjoy a beer together, or not.
I find it fascinating. If they had know each others’ “secrets” in advance, the interaction would likely have been completely different. Why? They’re both the same people.
See for yourself: