Throughout the duration of this pandemic, I have been involved in quite a few conversations on Social Media. Some about politics, some about the racial tension in our country, some about COVID-19, some about our children's return to school in the fall. Believe it or not, I have actually been seeking out people who disagree with me. I know that this seems like a TERRIBLE idea, but in my opinion, we need to have these conversations. As long as these discussions are entered, by both parties, in an effort to learn from one another, rather than trying to convince the other person that their beliefs are stupid and they are wrong. If you approach these conversations with the right mindset, they will often allow you to change your mind or strengthen your position. Either of those outcomes is GREAT!
I have learned that social media may not be the best avenue for these discussions though. Face to face conversations are always better than conversations via the written word. The non-verbal cues mean so much to the conversation. Unfortunately, in the COVID-19 era, we miss out on so many of those non-verbal cues because even when we are face to face half of our face is covered with a mask.
Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with a friend about the return to school for our kids, and he provided an article that raised some points that I had not considered. We were able to have a civil conversation, despite having opposing viewpoints we were able to exchange ideas, and from that discussion, I gathered more perspective, which allowed me to shift my opinion a little.
However, later in the week, I commented on a different friend's post, at which time, another of their friends (who I do not know in the real world) ignored the evidence that I provided, and instead of discussing facts resorted to calling me names... Needless to say, I didn't learn anything from that conversation, other than not to engage with idiots.
The two conversations could not have been more diametrically opposed. One was two people talking in an effort to learn from one another, and the other was one person talking and one person yelling about why they are right and NEVER considering the fact that they might learn from someone else. The first conversation can bring us together again, and the second conversation continues to divide us.
Please when you have the opportunity to engage with friends and neighbors, even if you know that they feel differently than you, take advantage of that time. In those conversations, you will probably find that we have more in common than politicians and the media want us to think.
Remember that the goal of a discussion is not to be right, but to get it right!
I recently found this great tip that I use before posting anything to social media...
THINK before you post!
T- Is it true?
H - Does it help?
I - Is it inspiring?
N - Is it necessary?
K - Is it kind?
Movement is my medicine,