If you don’t like comment wars on your Facebook posts…

I had big plans for this weekend to get a bunch of things swatched and overdue reviews up. I ended up having to work instead so all I have for you is a random rambling…

A friend of mine recently deleted his Facebook account to avoid arguing with the people he attends grad school with and it really got me thinking. Social media is full of trolls and keyboard warriors spewing their hatred and opinions behind the mask of anonymity, but to need to avoid such arguments with friends so desperately that you delete your account is a little extreme. Social media can be a powerful tool for staying in touch with people as you navigate your way through life. It has the potential for incredibly positive things but also for utterly negative. You don’t have to give up the tool and its potential for positivity to avoid the negative.

The arguments my friend was getting in to were over politics, law, current events, international affairs, etc. and were entirely avoidable. Here’s the thing… If you’re feeling like Facebook is hostile territory, you really should first assess how the content you post there contributes to that hostility. If you don’t want your friends arguing politics with you maybe you shouldn’t post political articles three times a day. If you don’t want heated debates on your wall about the latest foreign policy scandal maybe you shouldn’t post about it and solicit comments.

I get it, your wall is your space and you should be able to post whatever you want to but putting things there is soliciting public comment and if you want to avoid that it’s as easy as not putting it out there in the first place. If you’re willing to accept whatever comes of it then by all means post whatever you want but if you’re seeking to avoid it, don’t post it. I’m guilty of this. I think we’ve all opened that can of worms at some point, but if you don’t like the responses you get stop posting that kind of content. When you post that kind of charged content you’re stacking firewood. Sure, not everyone you know will pick up a match and maybe a few of those potential fires might go unlit, but when fire after fire gets lit up on your wall, at some point you should stop stacking firewood and that’s entirely under your control!

There’s a second piece to the puzzle though and that is the way you respond to the firewood others stack. The safest thing is not to respond to it at all. Sure it might start out like a casual intelligent conversation but it’s safe to assume that it will always devolve. So just don’t get involved. If you agree, smile and nod and keep scrolling. If you disagree, frown and shake your head and keep scrolling.

Ultimately  your experience on social media is dictated by your own actions. What you put out there comes back to you so if you’re not liking what you get, change what you put out.

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