Facebook just isn’t the place for real communication, any more than text messaging or semaphore code. There’s too much room for misunderstanding.
I sometimes get sucked into arguments and discussions on Facebook, and you know where those go? Pretty much nowhere. So I’ve made a habit out of trying to avoid them. I know, I know, it’s really hard not to chime in when someone is wrong on the Internet, but just sit on your hands for a bit, count to a kabillion, then pick up your phone and use the phone function. You know, the one that mimes what one of those rotary phones that we used to plug into the wall did. (For those of you who were born post Stone Age, we used to not be able to carry our phones in our pockets, and instead had to resort to things like “planning ahead” in order to make social events work. Crazy, I know.)
This action will make someone else’s phone ring, at which point they will answer and you will ask them: “Hey, want to grab coffee/dinner/brunch/afternoon tea?”
Why should you do this crazy thing, you ask?
- It’s a simple fact that, if you are talking to someone on the Internet, all bets are off. You can say whatever you want, however you want, with no immediate repercussions, because that person is not in front of your face. When you’re out to coffee talking about religion, politics, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, or whatever’s frying your fish right then, you’re more likely to be kind. You’re more likely to think about what you’re saying and how it’s coming across. This doesn’t mean you won’t say what you mean, but you’ll be more likely to frame it in a way that is gracious. And if you’re both being gracious, you’re both more likely to be open to what the other person has to say. Which brings me to my next point.
- ARGUING ON THE INTERNET DOES NOT CHANGE ANYBODY’S MIND ABOUT STRONGLY HELD BELIEFS. Why? See point #1.
- There’s no substitute for human interaction. It’s a powerful thing. And it just might make your friendship/frenemyship stronger. Facebook arguing will not.
- Your discussion can be held over COFFEE. Or scones. Or brownies. In a coffee shop, where there are other people to have conversations with. In short, all of this will take place in the real world with other humans and delicious food! TAKE THAT, INTERNET! You don’t have COFFEE! Or SCONES! Where are your SCONES, Internet? SHOW ME!
Give it a try. And if tea is your jam, I highly recommend this place. It’s on Hawthorne, and you can get delicious food and a whole flight of teas. (Yes, they have a bathroom.)