You’ve heard it time and again, it takes two to tango. But when the two involved do nothing but step on one another’s feet, it’s painful to watch.
Similarly, it takes two, at the very least, to have a conversation. And when the talk turns sour between two individuals, it quickly becomes unpleasant, especially for the others involved in the discussion. This applies even more in the case of online posts.
Humans disagree all the time. I know. I’m married. We all have our respective view on things and all want our points to be heard, but more importantly, we want our points to be respected. Disrespect is the fuel that turns a sparkle into a full-blown forest fire.
When you dish out disrespect, you can’t be surprised if the offended party retaliates. When you negate someone of their basic right of having an opinion, you can’t come crying that you “get hurt” in the process. If someone gives you their take on a topic and you either respond by laughing in their face or by telling them they are insane for thinking that way, don’t be surprised if they DO go crazy on you. If you mock and ridicule another human being’s belief system, you can’t expect them to stay silent. Every action has a reaction of equal or greater proportion. Sadly. Look at Charlie Hebdo.
Last week, I spoke about lifting one another up. I received tons of kudos on that editorial. Many of you agreed with me and stated that yes; we should try to be more tolerant with each other. The same people were later found having extremely heated discussions online and resorting to less than classy tactics to intimidate one another.
There is no rule that says “when all else fails, resort to name calling” in the book of netiquette. Name calling is just another way to change the topic and rob someone of their opinion. It also shows the world that you have run out of intelligent things to say.
I am not pointing fingers. I’m not naming anyone. This happens all the time and everywhere. But it needs to stop!
We are adults, we are intelligent people. We are the only creatures on this earth capable of reasoning ; we can use our brains to discuss and debate in a civilized manner. And if we can’t, why don’t we just shut up!
Freedom of speech is also a two-way street. Mine ends where yours begin.
Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance. -Robert Quillen
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