One of the reasons I stopped spending so much time on Facebook was due to the amount of online ‘arguing’. For a while there, it seemed like conflict was the order of the day. It was particularly noticeable around big issues like the refugee crisis, Brexit and the Scottish Referendum. But in general, arguments could occur about any little thing. As a person who shies away from confrontation, it was draining. For a while I retreated from my news feed and focused my social media energies on looking at pretty sunsets and cups of tea on Instagram instead.
These days I have gone back to enjoying Facebook – and avoiding looking in the directions where I know conflict might occur. Every now and again I see something that troubles me, however. At times like those I can’t help but wonder about opinions, beliefs and the lines between what is right and what is wrong.
As a person who sees shades of grey in almost everything, I find it difficult when confronted with people who see the world in black and white. Maybe it’s the way those opinions can be expressed as the ‘one right answer’. I for one know that my views have never been altered by someone telling me forcefully of theirs.
Similarly I have never seen an online argument where one party says to the other: ‘you’re completely right, I take back everything I’ve said here’. Perhaps there’s a better way to influence other people’s views?
And let’s face it, no one is really right or wrong anyway – with a bit of digging, you can find evidence to back up almost anything you believe in. My days of studying Psychology taught me that people will naturally look for evidence to back up their belief systems. That’s just human nature isn’t it? You don’t need a degree in Psychology to tell you that.
So maybe we should all just agree to disagree, accept that you’ll go your way and I’ll go mine – Vive la Difference.
There is always more in life that unites than divides us.
Pretty sunset or cup of tea anyone?