OPINION: You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Arguments

| September 18, 2018

The internet provides a forum for the free expression of ideals and values. An intellectual melting pot where some of the brightest minds compare and dialogue about several vast issues. Social media added a social element to this forum. People could put themselves on display and interact with other people. Many people debate whether social media is a good thing, which I understand. But I see a much bigger problem that has sprung up with social media:

Entitlement.

More and more these days I see people who refer to their own personal social media accounts as “their space”. We often have a “block first, engage in dialogue later” mentality. People do not want to constantly get into arguments on social media, and I get that. I hate attempting to have any form of serious discussion on any online platform because it is so hard to accurately convey anything without writing a novel. So while I understand ignoring some people rather than engaging them. The problem is that when you write a post or tweet you are essentially putting your intellectual property out there for criticism. You are walking into a crowd and yelling your opinion. You need to expect certain people not to agree with you.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen someone post a provocative, controversial article and then become upset when someone tries to push back on their opinion. I understand that some of the articles I write differ from popular opinion. Some people may be very offended at some of my convictions. I expect that, I anticipate that. Just because it is your post or your page does not mean that you are immune to any discussion you don’t like.

Because people disagreeing with you is healthy. It requires you to evaluate your own stance and challenge it. One of the worst things you can do as an intellectual is to only listen to the side you agree with. Especially when social media is already a sort of echo-chamber for your views [1]. Instead, people tend to make snap judgments on emotional grounds with anything they may disagree with.

Intellectual diversity is a good thing. One of the best things about the internet and social media is the plethora of intellectual thought you get to engage with. But when you only engage with thought you agree with, you rob yourself of growth. I encourage you to think twice before posting anything and think on whether that is something you are willing to engage with. Are you willing to have your beliefs questioned? Are you willing to listen?

You don’t get to claim ownership and immunity on something you release into the public forum. You cannot block people just because they push back on you. You should be willing to defend yourself.

Arguments should be welcomed. From arguments, you arrive at truth.

 

[1] Grimes, David Robert. “Echo Chambers Are Dangerous –  We Must Try to Break Free of Our Online   Bubbles.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 4 Dec. 2017, www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/dec/04/echo-chambers-are-dangerous-we-must-try-to-break-free-of-our-online-bubbles.

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