Social Media Tips for a Post-Political Season
The election is over, but people aren’t done talking about it. If your feed is full of debates and discussions, you might still feel like you’re in the middle of a political maelstrom. You might have something to say, too, whether or not you like wading into politics. Either way, here are some ways to keep the conversation going in a way that it can end positively, even if you don’t agree.
- Consider both sides. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise your principles. But it does mean you should stop to think about how the other side feels, and why the people on that side might feel that way. Imagine if you were in the same situation, or if the other party was doing the same thing. Empathy goes a long way, so try starting with “I understand,” and go from there. Remember, the other person is equally convinced that you’re wrong and they’re right. Ask yourself why.
- Admit when you’re wrong. Acknowledge mistakes on your “side.” Everyone makes mistakes; denying that doesn’t help a political discussion. Everybody is wrong sometimes. (Even politicians.)
- Stay respectful. Calling names, yelling (ALL CAPS), or getting sarcastic doesn’t help. Act the same way toward others that you want them to act toward you. People aren’t more inspired to change their minds if someone is pushy, angry, or loud.
- Understand the goal of the discussion. It’s probably not going to persuade someone to simply change their ideas–more likely it will help people understand each other, as long as they speak constructively. If people aren’t being constructive anymore, ask yourself what the goal of the discussion is. It’s all right to stop commenting if the exchange is getting heated, and it’s all right to delete posts you regret.
- Finally, remember to keep your own cool. If someone else gets upset with you, you don’t have to be upset too. Try not to let it all get to you for more than a couple minutes, if at all. When you log off, take a deep breath and remember to still enjoy your day.
And with that, go forth and enact democracy in this nation.