It seems no matter where you look on social media, you can find people having a conversation. Whether between real-time friends, on-line friends, strangers, acquaintances, or all of the above, there are discussions about technical matters, social concerns, political issues, health, religion, family, school or work, the past, present or future … and all provide people with the opportunity to express an opinion. It’s part of what makes the conversation interesting.
Personally, I enjoy reading and at times, commenting on various blogs, posts, e-zines, articles, etc. For the most part, people are courteous with their comments, even when they disagree with one another; it’s not uncommon to see “we’ll have to agree to disagree” after a back and forth exchange.
Unfortunately, more and more frequently I am also seeing another type of response to comments — it has even been the topic of discussion on one site I participate in.
When someone doesn’t like what another person has posted, instead of responding to the information, they make critical remarks about the poster himself. Name calling, demeaning comments, questioning intelligence levels, outright rudeness — it becomes a personal attack and not a discussion.
There is always more than one way to look at a situation. If you put seven people in a room and ask them to talk about a specific topic, you will get seven different points of view. Who is to say which is right and which is wrong? Enjoy the conversation. Listen – you may be surprised by what you learn, and even if you have a different thought or belief, know that understanding another person’s point of view does not mean you agree with it.
If posting or commenting on a blog, article or Facebook conversation, keep it about the topic. Personal attacks are inappropriate and say much more about you than the words you aim at the other person. If you don’t care for the topic, or find yourself frustrated or angry by the turn the conversation is taking, move along. Time is too short.