The South Jersey community is getting together to debate whether or not social media does more harm than good on Tuesday, July 14 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. As part of their Conversations on Culture series, Perkins Center for the Arts has partnered with Braver Angels to discuss the positives of using social media to connect with friends, family and more, balanced against the negatives, such as people behaving outside their “norm” when they’re on social media and Facebook “trolls” influencing their opinions. The goal is for all to listen and learn from each other, hopefully leaving the event with ideas for how to improve social discourse, strengthen the community and better understand one another, whether in face-to-face conversations or from behind computer keyboards.
“Perkins Center for the Arts is excited to be able to continue our community series “Conversations on Culture” into the summer,” said Kahra Buss, executive director at Perkins Center for the Arts. “The cessation of programming due to COVID was a very bitter pill to swallow, and we couldn’t be more pleased than to host another Braver Angels event as our first return to public programming.” Braver Angels is a nation-wide, citizen-led organization that is helping people to bridge diversity by facilitating conversations on topics where people often disagree. “What better way to re-start this series than with an event designed to promote understanding and civil discourse,” Buss continued.
The discussion, taking place on the Evergreen Lawn of the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown, will be held using the Braver Angles Debate format. This is a different kind of debate in which a group of people think together, listen carefully to one another and allow themselves to be touched and perhaps changed by each other’s ideas.
Karen Reiner, Moorestown resident and a Braver Angels certified facilitator will be chairing the debate.
“Braver Angels has been holding debates on various (and often very controversial) topics across the country for the past year,” Reiner said. “When these debates are done well, we find that everyone walks out a little closer to the truth, more aware of the validity in opposing views, and with tighter community relationships.”
The event is free, but registration is required as space is limited to ensure social distancing. Attendees are asked to bring their own folding chair or blanket, a picnic dinner and an open mind. To register for the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resolved-for-the-sake-of-civil-discourse-we-should-all-get-off-facebook-tickets-110999771304.
Please note, the rain date is Wednesday, July 15.