Not Everything Requires Your Response

You see a post that is just messed up and wrong. Should you respond? What usually happens when you respond to a post you don’t like? Does the other person change their opinion or outlook? Does it solve the issue at hand, even a little bit? Does it do anything other than devolve into a useless argument or give you a quick “gotcha” endorphin rush?

Pick your battles.

Responding to everything is a huge waste of time and one of the most common sources of stress there is. It accomplishes nothing and tends to exacerbate rather than solve issues. It is anything but a solution.

I used to waste a lot of time on social media, just scrolling through and of course there’s going to be something dumb as hell that I just had to respond to. Oh look! A dumbass! I better go set them straight! And I’d lay into them with something clever and laugh as they’s reply with something even more stupid. I’d get my gotcha points and feel all smug. But the truth was, I was a douchebag. Sure, I one-upped some truly dumb people, but so what? How did that make me a good person? How did that live up to my personal value of “don’t be a dick”?

Plus, interacting with people whose grasp on reality was severely lacking just made me stressed out and I’d have a lot of imaginary arguments in my head, and it’s just not good for one’s sanity. Dealing with crazy will make you crazy!

It’s okay to let other people be wrong.

“If you care about an issue, do you want to exacerbate it?”

Do you want to socialize and connect with other people, or do you want to argue and be stressed out while accomplishing nothing? Most of the time, there is no point in responding to things you find offensive. It doesn’t mean you don’t care. If you care about an issue, rather than responding, see if you can find constructive, effective ways to be a part of the solution. Yeah, it’s not as fun, but it’s a matter of priorities. Do you want integrity, or do you wanna pick a fight?

Bickering only polarizes people and makes issues worse. If you care about an issue, do you want to exacerbate it? Sometimes you just have to let some douchebag be wrong.

Respond with facts, not arguments.

If you absolutely must respond, simply provide facts in a civil manner. Leave it up to them to accept or reject the evidence. If they seem more interested in fighting than facts, then you know the conversation is not worth continuing. Most people just want to fight and get their little gotcha rush and move on to the next target. Especially if they have their issue lenses on and are looking for “oppressors” to go oppress.

Be willing to be proven wrong.

If someone provides facts of their own, look up those facts! They might be right. It’s entirely possible that a fact which you have been absolutely sure of has been wrong all along! It happens surprisingly often. The internet is full of falsified information, bad studies, and statistics that don’t take enough factors into account. Besides, isn’t that what you want when you provide facts? Don’t you want them to look them up and learn something other than what they’ve thought up until now? If so, then don’t dismiss other people’s facts out of hand. Don’t be the irrational, stupid one. Be the balanced, smart one!

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