It’s no big news to any of you out there that the internet–and social media in particular–has become a veritable minefield of hate, derision, and hyperbolic insults traded between friends, strangers, and friends-of-near-strangers. The landscape, as it stands now, seems almost impossible to wade through without feeling anything less than impotent, furious, and soundly defeated.
But it doesn’t have to be! Follow these easy to learn guidelines to combat hate and finish each social media experience feeling fulfilled and heartened that we live in a world of easily digestible, diverse opinions!
OK, so you’ve logged onto social media and you’re scrolling through all of the posts. Quickly past your less interesting friends, slowly past your crush, and then you catch a glimpse of the profile picture of a person you truly hate more than words can describe (Let’s say an Uncle of yours. Or a niece of yours, for instance).
Tip #1: Remember to “STOP“
Scroll no more.
Take it all in, read the whole post. Let it wash over you.
Over and over again.
Pick it apart.
Great! we’re on our way to a healthy social media experience! Now that you’ve stumbled onto someone who wrote something that makes you feel awful and floods your imagination with dread and despair, it’s time to decide if you should spend time thinking about all the ways it is wrong OR forget about it and move on to something positive.
Tip #2: Should you just forget about the maddening social media posts? “DEF”
See? It’s so simple! Now that you’ve identified and then mulled over a dumb social media post that could have very easily been missed if you just scrolled a little faster or looked at Instagram instead of Facebook while taking a shit, it’s time to decide if YOU can do anything about it. The great thing about the internet is that anyone can put anything on the dang thing at any time.
Tip #3: When you see an opinion you don’t agree with and have decided to comment on it remember this phrase: “TIME TO MOBILIZE”
Talk to yourself. Mutter how stupid everything is to the empty silence.
Imitate the person saying the post in a dumb voice.
Mope (any physical activity short of exercise will get the brain buzzing).
Empathize, but only with people in your immediate friend circle.
Open with “You’re an idiot and a monster if you actually believe this!”
Mean (be mean).
Ornery (be ornery).
Be hyperbolic (“MOST evil” “BIGGEST jerk” “ABSOLUTELY DISASTEROUS”).
Imply the other person is racist.
Leave no room for argument about whether or not the other person is racist.
Investigate the personal life of the person you disagree with.
Zig-zag back and forth from selective statistics to offhand insults about the part of the country they live in.
End your response with “I can’t believe we’re even having this argument!”
Perfect-o! Your social media experience is going along reeeeeeeeal nicely and pretty soon you’re gonna log off feeling fantastic about humanity!
But first! It’s time to open a new tab and look up a bunch of articles, studies, and thinkpiece blog posts that back up your opinion. Once you’ve done that…
Tip #4: What you wanna do is “FEED”
Edit your last post w/ facts and well worded points from the links you found.
End the new post with “You can’t argue facts!“
Delete and rewrite a post of your own passive aggressively putting down the person you had the original argument with.
Bingo-bango-bongo, you did it! Just like that you have spent an entire day on social media when you meant to just kill a few minutes while in line at the bank.
But you’re done with all that and in the real world now! Look up, look around, experience LIFE and realize, every person you see probably has different viewpoints than you and that makes them the enemy.