Blogtober 15th – Debate must be earned

One of the plagues on social media platforms is the people who try to start an argument out of anything.

They are usually people you’re not even connected to, that somehow happen upon your content and decide to take to the comments to explain to you why you’re wrong.

Unsolicited, obviously.

There seem to be people out there that think that the internet belongs to them, and that everything they find on the internet is for them to interact with.

I might have been one of these people myself to be honest with you, but I’ve been learning that when others post something online they are not doing so specifically for me, as I’m not the protagonist of existance, and they don’t necessarily want or welcome my contribution to their content, no matter how polite or well intentioned I am.

The fact that the content is posted publicly is not a free pass for anyone and everyone to interact with it as they please. It just means you can consume it. Posting publicly only means you are allowed to see it. Touching is a different story.

Now let’s take it a step further and talk about those who disagree with you and want to “debate”.

You can tell from the start that their minds are made, they do not want to learn something new today or any day especially about that particular topic, and the only thing they really want is to either change your mind or to somehow prove they’re better than you (smarter, more informed, less gullible, etc).

What they bring into the discussion, though, is only misinformation, prejudice and highly biased sources.

I don’t debate them. I refuse to engage, and the reason why I do that, even if they taunt and provoke as much as they can before I block them, is because debate must be earned.

If I engage in a discussion with people like that I am actively acknowledging their points as if they had any standing. I am offering them my time and my attention, therefore putting us on the same level. I am giving them a platform and an audience, which makes them look as if they deserve one. Basically, I am giving them credibility by engaging with them, not to mention the fact that I’m putting their ramblings on my mutuals and friends’ feed.

Some categories of people go looking for internet arguments exactly because of these reasons: to amplify their own reach by using your engagement, and to gain an apparent credibility by always being engaged in “intellectual debate”.

If you’re walking down the street and there’s a man talking to no one in particular and everyone at the same time, rambling about some incoherent theory while his spirited eyes dart towards each passerby in an attempt to catch their attention, what do you do? Do you stop and attempt to explain to him why he’s wrong? Or do you just keep going, knowing that a conversation with him would be a waste of your time?

Do yourself a favour and behave the same on the internet.

Debate is not owed, you have to prove to me your ideas are worth it, your sources are solid, and your intentions are not dodgy.

2 thoughts on “Blogtober 15th – Debate must be earned

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