Or, in other words, how to improve the way we debate with one another.
Right now online debates look like this:
Person A: I think these people are bad
Person B: No, people like you are bad!
Person A: NO, YOU'RE BAD AND YOU'RE WHY EVERYTHING ELSE IS BAD
Person B: YOU'RE to STUPID TO know your BAD, That's how BAD you ARE!
And so on. I think it's important that we try to do better than this, so i've made a list of tips that everyone can try to follow. Presenting: Bradman's A+ 100% Tips To Winning Arguments, Or At Least Feeling Smart And Superior On The Internet
- If you, at any point, begin using capital letters, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.
- If you are writing so fast that you are hitting the wrong keys, stop. Breathe. Don’t do it.
- Proofread. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t want to sound like an idiot, don’t look like an idiot. There is nothing you have to post that can’t wait an extra 2 minutes for you to reread what you wrote.
- Your goal should not be to make the other person feel angry. Do not insult. Do not call names. These make both of you look bad. Act and speak maturely, always, and you may be surprised at how quickly you can change someone's tone. Kill 'em with kindness!
- Do not use one person as the scapegoat for everything you have a problem with in your entire life. This person, whom you do not know, does not support every single thing that you oppose. They are a unique person with a unique set of views and principles that you don't know about. Just because someone supports the Arpaio pardon doesn't mean they want to repeal DACA or that they want to imprison Hilary for sneezing on a burrito.
- Related - Please stay focused. If you're arguing about Colin Kaepernick, there is absolutely no reason to bring up Afghanistan, or Roe v. Wade, or Anthony Weiner. One issue at a time, people.
- Everyone you disagree with is not a depraved amoral monster. They are simply people different than yourself with different experiences. And some, i assume, are depraved amoral monsters.
- Remember this, above all: You are not writing only for the person you are responding to. You are writing for everyone reading. The eyes of the internet are upon you. If your arguments are sound and clear, they will make an impact, even if you don’t get through to the individual you’re directing them at.
Respond with a cool head to someone acting hysterical, and you can often bring them down to a more reasonable level, but if you meet hysteria with hysteria, you accomplish nothing. Welcome people into your perspective rather than trying to force it over their head like a plastic bag, suffocating them with your opinion while insulting them and giving them noogies. This does not work.
People are stubborn and they don’t want to change and they don’t want to be wrong. Provide a path where someone can feel like they’re right while at the same time agreeing with what you’re saying. We need to practice being inclusive, because the radical rejection of everyone who doesn't share our identical beliefs is what's driving this nation apart.
Like it or not, when you voice your opinion in a public forum, you are a representative of everyone else who shares your opinion. To everyone who shares my opinions:
Please don't make us look bad.
Fact of the day: The Czech Republic kindly asks that you now refer to it as "Czechia"