We have lost our way in terms of communication and social media etiquette. Far too often, I see a person post a not-so-popular opinion on social media, and a different person comes along and adds a comment to the opinion. What ensues is what I will call a cluster f—. Something like this:
“You should not think the way you do!”
“I don’t mean to offend you, but…” (Note: the person meant to offend).
“I hope that never happens to anyone in your family!” (Note: they, in fact, mean to wish shitty fortune on the person and family).
“Well, a simple Google search will show you…” (Note: Insert shitty articles passed off as research from a highly suspect author/group/firm).
“Well, it is my opinion — and if you did not want it, you shouldn’t have posted what you did!”
Here is the thing, purposeful or not, people who post on social media want some sort of reaction or dialogue from their audience. A person would be correct by saying that the author should not have posted something without expecting a negative response. But the audience member also has a responsibility — one that requires some maturity on their part. What is not appreciated is when a person comes along, reads the post, then adds their opinion with the intent of only being right and not to have a dialogue.
If this is you, guess what? Approaching information with that sort of intent does not make you right; it makes you an ass, and here is why:
- You don’t have to answer. You could go on about your business and have an awesome day.
- The person who created a post is most likely not going to change their mind.
- You, I am assuming, are not an authority, nor are trained on researching the subject.
That means that you are entitled.
Sorry, it does.
Not only that, but you also gave up your power. A person that you may not even know got a rise out of you and caused you to react. The person got you.
“But, what if they say something offensive?”
Simple answer, keep scrolling. Physically show someone close to you the post and laugh at the dumbass comment. But keep scrolling and have a nice day.
If it is a company that says something offensive, even better — boycott the business and get others to do the same. But you don’t need to comment on their post.
I have watched long time friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, disown each other on a public platform because of a need to be right. The sad thing is, both sides were right. Dead right.
When a person is willing to give up everything, even if it comes as a detriment to their well-being to be right, they most likely will be dead right. Why? Because being right is just a subjective construct. Being right does not mean that you are fair or honest; it only means that your set of values justify your stance. It also means that each person is not willing to change their view, which is not necessarily wrong – unless you cannot coexist with someone who does not believe the same as you.
- If you see something that you don’t agree with: Keep scrolling.
- If you see something that offends you: Keep scrolling.
- If you see something that you believe is not true: Keep scrolling.
- If you have some information that you would like to share, but it does not come from a peer-reviewed article: Keep scrolling.
- If you want to add some emoji, fine, but after that: Keep scrolling.
The highest form of discipline is self-restraint. It is wise to practice that.
Arguing with a fool only proves there are two.
*I know there will be some who will not agree with this post, and that is okay. But guess what? I don’t give a shit, so do yourself a favor and keep scrolling.