I’m on Facebook quite a bit along with nominal looks at Twitter and of course other places where people get adamant about their political and social views. I appreciate the passion they have about their perspective because I’m pretty passionate about my views, at least the ones that I think have a moral basis and are not just my preferences.
However, I don’t spend much time debating those views on public sites and you might think about taking the same position. Why?
First, very few people will change their mind because of your rant, meme, believed absolute, attack or guilt trip. Most of us are pretty convinced we’re right and don’t change sides easily. That doesn’t mean we can’t change our views but it will take some time, thought, deeper conversations and nuanced insights to do so.
Second, people are rarely drawn to us to know more about anything if we come across as arrogant, know-it-alls. Frankly, I want to keep the door open to connecting with people, even those who disagree, so I’ll share more about my views with people but it has to happen in another, better setting.
You see, there are several kinds of posts that we need to quit posting. To keep doing so will lose us friends, make us look trite and convince more people that we really aren’t that insightful. Not much of a legacy or reputation.
One, let’s stop exaggerating and suggesting that anyone’s actions are going to do something to all, everyone, forever or the culture. They aren’t. Hyperbole is cheap, lazy criticism and if we’re going to make a statement then at least back it up.
Two, on a related note, let’s quit using tired, unfair labels for anyone who disagrees. People aren’t necessarily bigots, haters, racists, un-Christian or losers just because they don’t see eye to eye with us. Name-calling is merely unkind and won’t help any further discussions to happen, ones that could actually help the discourse.
Three, let’s stop suggesting that our way or ideas should have no limits. Statements like I’m for freedom or no wall or refugees or faith or forgiveness or . . . .may be irresponsible, impossible and dangerous if there are no parameters.
The bottom line is that we need to learn to tolerate and at least listen to those who don’t see it our way. There’s too much yelling and screaming, even on Facebook, these days. How about a little more listening and learning first?