What to Do If You Start an Internet Fight (And What Kind of Popcorn to Bring)

So you're in the middle of a fight.


If you've spent more than one hour in a day browsing your favorite social media platform, chances are, you've been a witness to a fully-fledged, weapons drawn, teeth-bared Internet fight. Or, even better, maybe you've caused one.


You just can't keep your opinions to yourself, can you?


Nevertheless, we've all been there. And boy, is it a hoot.

Now, if you've found yourself smack in the middle of one of these arguments, it's important to remember a few things.


TAKE A DEEP BREATH.

You're outraged, and that's understandable. Someone has attacked you with their greatest weapon: their personal opinion.

"..But it's stupid."

Yeah. And to them, so is yours. The Internet is a wilderness, and you're Coyote Peterson letting a scorpion sting you because you decided to stick your finger in their face. Can you blame the scorpion? Sure, it didn't have to sting you, but for LAND'S SAKE. Don't dangle your carrot if you don't want someone to bite.


Rule number one of the Internet: if you post it, it's free game.




YOUR OPINION MATTERS...

...to you and you alone. Yes, you're valid and have your very own amendment to protect your right to call someone out, but in this world, you're the only one who's going to side with yourself. Imagine this: you and ten other people have a chance to vote for who of you gets a shiny new car. You all get to enter your vote once, but here's the flaw: each of you is going to vote for yourself. And no one is going to win, because ten people who all tied aren't going to share one car.

"You don't know that. Someone might change their mind."
And if they do, congratulations. You get ten Internet points.


YOU'RE CAUSING YOURSELF UNNECESSARY STRESS.


"So what? I want my voice to be heard."

That's a fantastic way to live your life, but I'm still talking about the Internet. Not your Aunt Sharon and your best friend Rick. The Internet doesn't care about your voice. The Internet is not your friend. The Internet brings people closer... so they can have at it. Behind a screen, people are protected. And if things get hairy, they have a delete button. Which is actually why the screenshot was invented. You're welcome, Warrior of the Blue Screen of Death!

So, don't work yourself up over fickle fights. Do some stretches and sniff a candle. You'll be okay. Besides, that's what friends are for: supporting your every move until the day you both finally disagree. Buh-bye!


MAYBE YOU LIKE THE FIGHT.


If you commented on an open forum, chances are you wanted to be seen. 

And if you do like starting fights, good for you...? There's no question about standing up for your beliefs. But this isn't your world and it most certainly does not revolve around you. You can attempt to change someone's mind, but you've also got to recognize when your blood is boiling over something that could easily be avoided. People love fights. Gladiators were very much a real part of history. A public square is just a boxing ring where people can watch you from the comfort of the sidelines. 


My best advice to you is this: 

If you're truly concerned, take your battle to a private alley: direct messaging.

The beating hurts a lot less if no one is coming at you with their fists on fire for a performance, and if you single someone out without attacking them, they might be open to a civilized debate.

Looking for a fight says a lot about your character. So, don't forget that cute girl you added can see when you comment on stuff. Thanks, algorithm!

However, if you can say with 100% honesty that you were ready to be heard without caring about the backlash, that's when I'll support your decision to join the party.

At the end of the day, you have a right to your opinion and choice to speak it. And if you feel like it's your lot in life to raise your voice, no one can stop you! There will always be people who support you, but there will always be more who don't. So, take a deep breath and roll up your sleeves. Or sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

As for the popcorn, I recommend your favorite brand!

(Just try to fight me on that.)

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