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There are not many things as annoying in this world as an argument on Facebook. They’re everywhere. And for some reason, parenting pages and groups seem to attract them in droves. Call them ‘keyboard warriors’, or ‘trolls’ or any other name, they are all the same. They get on these discussion threads with one goal – stir an argument.
There are two distinct types of comments that trigger off an argument, and it could be on the most innocent of posts, it doesn’t really matter. Where there is a will there is a way.
The first is the blatantly obvious argumentative comment. Something like ‘well, you’re wrong’ and then they start to go off on their tangent. These ones are easy to identify and even easier to avoid.
However, it’s the sneaky ones that draw so many people in. The usually start off in a passive way, posing themselves as a do gooder who is just ‘concerned’. Starting their comment with, ‘usually I wouldn’t say anything but…’ or ‘I couldn’t help it, I had to tell you’ or even worse ‘if I was doing something wrong I’d want people to tell me so I’m just wanting to let you know…’. These are mostly found in the parenting groups or on parenting pages.
And while some people posting like this have good intentions, others post for the drama it creates. But regardless of your intentions or the intentions of the person posting, arguing on Facebook is pointless.
You’re Never Going to Change Someone’s Mind
Arguing on Facebook is kind of like arguing with a brick wall. Have you ever actually seen an argument on Facebook resolved with someone saying ‘that’s a really good point’? Uh, no. People have their own opinions, which is fine, but you’re not going to change someone’s mind in a Facebook argument.
All you’re going to do is exhaust a whole heap of energy and become more and more frustrated. No thanks.
Random Strangers Have Literally Zero Bearing On Your Life
Why are you arguing with this person? Do you know them? If you were to log off Facebook right now and walk away, would this random stranger have any actual impact on your day to day life?
Chances are the person you are arguing with will have zero bearing on your life, so why bother arguing? Sure, you’ve got a point to prove and you want to educate someone or explain the 52343 ways they are wrong, but really… does it matter?
You Waste Time And Energy On People You Don’t Even Know
There have been so many times when I’ve seen comments that have made me cringe and my fingers start moving faster than I can keep up with formulating a well developed, slightly smart arse response but then I realise… there is no point. I don’t know this person, they don’t know me. Arguing is going to take up time and energy so why would I choose to spend that time and energy on someone I don’t even know?
There seems to be this false barrier that Facebook gives the illusion of. Where people forget that there is actually a human on the other side of the computer, with feelings and emotions of their own. Arguments can quickly get out of control and turn from a heated discussion into outright bullying and harassment. There’s this false sense of ‘safety’ behind a keyboard and it’s not representative of reality at all.
Would you say these things to someone’s face? Would you have this discussion face to face with someone? How would you handle it?
One of the most amazing and yet also most annoying things about the internet and social media is that it’s given a platform to anyone and everyone to share their opinions and views. They don’t need to be backed up by facts and they can be complete fiction. It doesn’t matter. You have a platform to use and people will use it. Which means there will always be arguments and differing opinions.
But it doesn’t mean you have to feed into it too.
Sometimes people can be downright mean. I’ve had people say some horrible things about me on Facebook and I’ve seen horrible things said about others. We can’t control what others say or do but we can control our response to them.
So choose your battles. Do you really need to argue with this person? Does it actually matter? Will it make a real difference? If not, conserve your energy and spend it somewhere more productive. Arguing on Facebook is pointless and you don’t have to do it.