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The last word on… Getting het up about politics

Got your pea in a froth about the state of the nation and other people’s opinions? Learn to influence, not argue, if you want to change minds, writes Oliver Burkeman

There’s no doubt it’s tougher to have political conversations these days without things degenerating into a row. Social media, although not the sole cause, provides such a surplus of information, true and false, that people can find confirmation for anything they believe; while tech firms just want users to stay hooked - which means keeping them outraged. The same forces make it seem as if other people are always to blame. It’s as if we’re all viewing the world through different coloured glasses - pink, green, blue - but, because yours are purple, you’re sure the world really is purple; you’re reasonable and everyone else is wrong.

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