A Facebook Debate with a Good Outcome?

Facebook has gone nuclear. It is always blowing up about something but in the last few weeks it has gone nuclear. Everyone is at someone’s throat about someone’s political post. Immigration and deportations, Travel bans and Circuit court rulings, protests and counter protests have all served as fodder for raging political fires.

Reading the posts and the comments (I know, I know, NEVER read the comments) one thing is overwhelmingly clear. No one is listening. Lot’ s of people are talking, but no one is listening. I have yet to read a single comment saying, “Why do you feel that way?” or “Tell me more, I would like to understand where you are coming from?”

I decided to counteract this trend a few weeks ago. A Facebook friend I have not seen since high school made a liberally leaning comment on another friend’s post and I decided to respond. Instead of posting a comment, I sent him a message-

You are on the left and I am on the right. We are both writers. I am wondering if you would be interested in a genuine dialogue on some of the issues. I would love to engage with someone who disagrees with me without either side attacking the other.”

Over the course of the next several days, we dialogued. We exchanged emails on taxes, health care and media bias. We found a few areas of agreement and many more where we saw the world from completely different perspectives. Neither of us changed our minds.

The most important thing we agree on is that both of us love our country and want what is best for it and that neither of us wants to destroy it. Beyond that, we are still friends.

Something to think about the next time you are tempted to type out an angry comment. If you’re not willing to dialogue in private, you probably shouldn’t say anything.

- Bart

thanks for reading and sharing. Comments and questions are welcomed, and personal messages are especially welcome!