Social Media is for Social Discussion

Pro tip: if you don’t want to publicly talk about a social issue, don’t publicly post about it on a social media website.

if you’re tired of talking about an issue, I’d recommend not posting about it. When you post about a social issue on a social media site, you can bet that people are going to want to talk about it. I’ve never understood the “Here’s an article where someone espouses my opinion. But no, I don’t want to talk to you about it because I’ve already talked about it with other people.”

If you care about the issue enough to post the article, you should care enough to talk about it. If you don’t care enough to talk about it, you shouldn’t post something that’s SUPPOSED to prompt conversation and change.

Taking this stance is basically like saying the following:

“My word is gospel, and I’m above public discourse, which is why I post my [read, “other people’s”] opinions on a social networking website so that I can see how many people already agree with me. Got it?”

Let me know how well that works for swaying the minds of people who don’t agree with you, and therefore, actually changing anything you profess to care about. Hint: It won’t do jack shit.

If you want to foster understanding and social evolution, you have to be willing to get down in the mud and discuss the issues, and be willing to admit that sometimes your view isn’t the only one that exists. Not only that, but you may even have to admit that some of your views are off base, or even wrong. Le gasp.

Sure, facebook is a place where you can tell people what you’ve been up to, post pictures of your pets, and your debaucherous weekend. It’s also a place where you can connect with people and kick around things that actually matter. That’s kind of what the comment feature is for.


And secondly, for those of you just exploiting the “like” feature, do us a favor and ACTUALLY put your two cents in. Internet activism is armchair-ish enough without being reduced to a mere button press. Weigh in and say more than “I like what this person said.” It’s lazy.