Social Networking and Wars of Words

I and several others I know have engaged in various discussions online, and in the end we had to walk away, frustrated and drained.

One person put it thusly: “Pretty sure social media is dumbing down the human race (she says on social media). Everybody thinks they’re right and then they yell at other people who think they are right.”

I’ve often posted arguments online and tried quite vociferously to prove my stance. But if someone comes along to prove my premise incorrect, I will be the first one to say, “You’re right.”

I said on Facebook the other day, “I don’t mind being wrong (mostly), because I always learn something when I find out how wrong I was.”

The problem with society today is we’ve elevated the definition of “opinion” to “truth.” We’re no longer interested in learning anymore. We instead want to prove to the world how smart and right we are, and everyone who disagrees is unenlightened or just plain stupid. It doesn’t matter how we came up with that particular truth. “It’s mine, therefore it’s right” regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

The most recent discussion that brought about this entry happened yesterday. I wrote an off-the cuff comment about birth control. I always knew it was a political issue, but yikes, I had no idea how emotional people get when it’s brought up. The thread soon exploded with accusations from both sides of the political spectrum about how idiotic my comment was. Perhaps it was, and I apologized to everyone for not making my original point more clear. Yet people continued to pounce on and make snide remarks on my original post long after I apologized.

I added another comment later about how when it comes to birth control, I will keep my big mouth shut, because the subject does raise so much ire. It’s a swamp I don’t want to wade through again.

A lady responded (who had also ripped me a new one on my original comment) saying, that if we don’t spread the truth and facts about an issue, the liars will continue to lie and people who don’t (care to) search for the truth on their own will take those lies as truth.

This isn’t the first time I got sucked into an emotionally charged conversation. Most of the time it’s less about politics and more about God and the Bible. When people insult one or the other, I can’t help but respond. In the end, however, I let them have the last word, thereby believing they won the argument. They did in a way, because I was too exhausted emotionally spiritually to continue.

I recently read Matthew 7:6: “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

The exhaustion at the end, I think, is God’s way of telling me I indeed wasted my time and energy. No matter what I said, no matter how logical or rational my arguments, they were ultimately meaningless. My opponents were too intent in proving how right they were instead of listening to and considering a different point of view.

It’s frustrating that I allow people to win wars of words against me, but some battles are not meant to be won. Arguing with someone who refuses to listen to anything that goes against their opinions and preconceived notions is one such battle. Allowing myself to be beaten up in an un-winnable battle makes me less capable of fighting one that is winnable. Determining when to fight and when to walk away? That, my friends, is the question of the day.

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