Everyone has a hotbed issue in his or her repertoire. Whether it is political, religious, or something that we have a personal connection to, we feel very strongly about the subject. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others have quickly become the latest avenue for us to get our “point of view” across to the masses. Social networks continue to grow and as they do, so does controversy and debates. More than ever, we are relying on Facebook and Twitter, to share our deepest feelings on a vast array of subjects.
It’s difficult to get your point of view across when you are frustrated or angry, especially when you are trying to express yourself online in a social media setting. Since you cannot see the person or people on the other end of the conversation, you are more apt to be disrespectful and not as open to hearing why they feel or think a certain way.
Some easy tips to remember when debating through social networks will help solidify your reasoning and make it possible for your opinion to really be heard by others.
Remaining calm and collected makes for a better open dialogue, for both sides of the issue being debated. Calmer heads always prevail, and are critical when social media is the forum for the debate.
It’s easy to let your emotions rule, especially when it relates to topics that you are passionate about. Remember not to be carried away by the emotion. Breathe deeply, before you write and press the post button. Don’t send a knee jerk response if you want to be taken seriously in the debate. If necessary, take a little break and walk away from the computer, go for a walk, or find another way to clear your head.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the other people involved in the debate. It is okay if you need clarification on something they posted. People in different areas have different phrases or vernacular, which you may not understand or misinterpret. You may find the answers they give you have a completely different meaning than the way you initially took the post. You could also find out more information to strengthen your point of view.
It is understood, that many people that like to debate on social media tend to want to get under someone else’s skin. They want to be an irritant. They want drama. You should not respond to deliberate and provocative statements. Often these comments will come from someone outside the debate arena, which has been watching the debate and wants to chime in and stir up emotions.
A wise man once said, “Pick your battles wisely”. This statement was made for those that debate on social media. It’s hard when we feel strongly about an important issue, usually related to money, politics, religion, family, and social issues, to remain objective. If you sense the other debater wants to take digs at you and seems to want to get you worked up, simply walk away from the debate. Do not give them the satisfaction.
Finally, be and remain polite to other users on social media. This should go without having to say it; however, there are many do not adhere to the simple social skill that we were taught as young children. Again, much of the rudeness that exists on social media, especially when debating important issues, stems from anonymity. We usually don’t know the person on the other keyboard very well or perhaps not at all. This just makes it more necessary to be courteous to others. You will be surprised that your debate points will be taken more seriously, than someone whose rudeness is evident on the screen.
Lastly, know when enough is enough. If you have said all you have to on the topic at hand, do not continue repeating the same things over and over. Tell the other person it was nice debating the issue with them, and tell them to have a great day, afternoon, evening, etc. Then simply sign off. If you haven’t changed any opinions with the points you made, you aren’t likely to once you’re out of points. Know when to say good-bye.