The online world is full of arguments, disagreements and heated disputes that go in circles or hours. Don’t let the thought of controversy or having your thoughts “stomped on”, stop you from sharing them. Every voice needs to be heard. Every opinion needs to be given a fair chance to stand.
1. Humans should not humiliate others. Simple. Don’t degrade someone for their rights or beliefs. If you don’t understand them, agree to disagree and move on.
2. Consider the language you use. Respond with “I understand what you’re saying” or “I see where you’re coming from” instead of “No. You’re wrong” or “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard.”
3. Use a disclaimer if you feel like a topic could be triggering or upsetting to others. Sometimes it’s worth giving your readers a heads up and let them make the choice to keep reading or skip over.
4. Accept that there are people who find their harshest words and loudest voices from behind a computer screen. Pick your battles. Know when you’re having an intelligent debate vs. an argument you’re never going to win.
5. Direct the conversation by including a relevant question at the bottom of your posts. This is a ‘call-to-action’ and gives you the ability to set the stage for the comments to come.
6. Opinions are supposed to clash. That’s why we’re not all writing the same blog or living the same life. Don’t force your opinions on others but at the same time, don’t let someone bully you into feeling wrong for what you believe.
READ: 10 Things To Remember Before You Blog About Your Personal Life
7. Have the sense of maturity to know where your opinions fit, and where they don’t. An appropriate example: should you have a problem with same sex marriage, don’t go looking for a post celebrating recent events or find a page that supports it, just to express your personal disagreement.
8. Some argument is healthy. Don’t be quick to discount every disagreement or you will never grow, learn, or see the world any differently than you do now. You don’t have to change where you stand on the topic but you have to understand where other people are coming from.
READ: 8 Reasons Why You Should Be A Twenty-Something With A Blog…Even If You Don’t Want To Be
9. Don’t degrade, put down, or call anyone stupid. They’re entitled to their opinion as you are yours. If you write a rude and hateful comment then conclude it with the argument “it’s my freedom of speech”, you don’t have an argument. You have a need to be controversial and people with that deep rooted need, never get their point across they way they may have imagined or hoped.
10. My newest life mantra : “talk about things you know about.” Talk about the topics you follow and the things you’re passionate about. Don’t waste your breath arguing about a historic fact you heard in a documentary years ago, or even a good cause you just may not be educated on. It doesn’t mean you don’t support it. It means you know well enough to make an argument when you know you have a valid one.