Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here. Today’s thoughts tie in with Ravenna’s excellent post from yesterday. No, don’t worry I’m not going to turn political on you, but it did make me think. Social Media can be a minefield, and you never know which topic, or which discussion will bring out the easily offended brigade.
I have been on the fair end of such disagreements in my time on Social Media, I tell you. From trolls to plain opinionated folks, who are spoiling for an argument, to personal, hurtful attacks, and sensible debates, I’ve had them all since I first ventured onto the good ole internet.
On the flip side of that, I also made lifelong friends, learned lots, and met some truly interesting and inspiring people, so it’s not all bad. Far from it, I’d say.
One of the most valuable tools in your arsenal is the art to agree to disagree.
I don’t mean you walk away from an argument every time. Some disagreements are worth having, and, like in the case of when I was the moderator of an on-line breastfeeding board, misinformation needs to be addressed.
I’m sure you can imagine some of the things that went on on that particular board. I recall one very enthusiastic formula feeder—to this day I have no idea what she was doing on there in the first place—who took every comment I made to mums desperately trying to carry on breastfeeding as a personal attack on her.
Jeez, that was hard work, and eventually, I had to ban her because it was exhausting and added nothing to the discussions mothers seeking support for breastfeeding their babies were there for.
What then followed was a barrage of abuse aimed at me on other boards on that particular parenting site from this person. So, not fun. I hasten to add I was a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with La Leche League at the time, so I did know what I was talking about.
Agreeing to disagree didn’t work with this person, and banning her was the only way to go in the end.
That is certainly the best way to deal with trolls or anyone who turns abusive. But, what happens when you have a disagreement with a person you know, and class a friend? Well, things are not as clear cut then, are they? Especially, if you value their friendship.
I’ve posted on here before, as have my fellow quillers, that walking away from something toxic in your life, someone unsupportive is sometimes the best thing to do to save your sanity.
Never more so than when you’re an author, because that will sap away at your creative juices, and no one needs that.
We all need our friends, however, and if you are friends you ought to be able to agree to disagree. I have a wide variety of friends from all walks of life, social status, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, faiths, parenting styles, etc.
It’s what makes the world such an interesting place to live in. While it would no doubt be far more peaceful if we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, it would also be incredibly boring, don’t you think?
Variety is the spice of life, and differing opinions discussed in a sensible manner make the world go round.
So, in closing what I’m saying is this. Be sensible on Social Media, don’t set out to offend, but do not be afraid to speak your mind also. Those who know me will know I have very strong opinions on a lot of subjects, and I’m not afraid to voice those opinions if need be. However, I also don’t make a point of shoving said opinion down people’s throats. It’s a fine balance we tread at times as authors. The need to market our brand, while staying true to what we believe in. Do I always get it right, or have the answer to what that fine line is? Heck no. We all have to find our own path, and most of us muddle through as best we can.
That’s all from me today.
Do stay naughty, folks, and remember to agree to disagree. It’s the adult thing to do.