Dear Wyoming: You Can Disagree on Social Media and Still Be Respectful
Social media has given a voice to the voiceless, this is true, but more often than not, it has become a place for debates.
This doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, but let's take a few things into account:
- Most people you connect with on social media are friends and family members, so usually not strangers.
- Generally this also means they are people that genuinely care about you.
- Even if they are only acquaintances or coworkers, at some point (usually), you are going to have to see them again in real life.
With that being said, is an online debate really worth ending a friendship or a relationship, and in some extreme cases, a job?
Whether you're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok (or a myriad of others I haven't mentioned), of course you're bound to see something you don't agree with, whether it's politics, religion, gun rights/control, the latest hashtag trend, a popular movie, musician, song or reality television star, the truth of the matter is, you are NOT going to agree with everyone 100% of the time.
Honestly, that is perfectly fine. The world as a whole would be a pretty boring if everyone agreed on everything for the rest of existence.
That being said, there is a right way and wrong way. Having a debate, even if it gets slightly heated isn't the problem. Not treating people with respect is the issue.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Being respectful, even if you disagree isn't that difficult.
- Name calling isn't going to help you get your point across.
- You're probably not going to change anyone's mind anyway.
- Remember you can always keep scrolling and/or just not engage (also that unfollow button is very easy to find and use).
- Some people are trolls and like to argue just for arguments sake.
While it may seem difficult at first, the option to keep scrolling is probably the easiest thing to do. Have you ever heard the term: "out of sight, out of mind"? You'd be surprised how many things you see on social media that you don't agree with, will fall completely from your memory if you just keep scrolling... or even better, just log off for awhile.
All in all, we all have things we are very passionate about, the key thing to remember is it's one thing to debate with faceless strangers (which granted, does happen online often), but arguing with friends and family can permanently damage relationships and at the end of the date, most of the time, it's really not worth it.
To reiterate, it is okay to disagree with people. It is also okay to have discussions and debates. They key is to just remember to be respectful. We Wyomingites are known for being polite folk, so why do we seem to lose that famous spirit when we're online?
It's just a little something to think about.