Want to make a short and sweet splash in the world of social media? It’s easy. For the record, I’ve only been blocked twice—once on Facebook and once on Twitter—and by the same guy who I’d been 98 percent respectful toward.
My slip-up? In a Facebook reply, I wrote that he seemed angry and arrogant. He blocked me there and then on Twitter proactively—I’d never been to his page.
So it’s not like I’m getting blocked all over cyberspace and want to show you how to become persona non grata. I want to encourage you to discuss passionately and respectfully. If you do so and get blocked, you’ll have done both for the right reasons.
Let me show you three ways to get your block on:
1) Share your opinions
And do so respectfully, logically and CONFIDENTLY.
Offer a dissenting opinion with chutzpah. There’s no quicker way to get booted in today’s namby-pamby, pseudo-discussion-friendly social media scene. Disagree agreeably … with courtesy.
To dissent—no matter how respectfully or effectively—is rude and judgmental. But it can be fun and informative, too. So disagree cheerfully and with civility … be gentle … even though it probably won’t matter.
You see, nowadays, when you disagree with someone, you “invalidate” his or her opinion. It doesn’t matter how absurd it is or how kindly you are as you reduce it to a quivering blob of nonsense—civil give and take is virtually impossible.
How dare you!
(Internally) How dare YOU … reject my viewpoint without any real consideration and then champion such a silly opinion that a twelve-year-old could dismantle in the time it takes him to eat a cookie?
Sadly, in our snowflake, truth-less culture, all viewpoints are equally true. No matter how ludicrous an opinion, everyone has the right to be right even when they’re demonstrably, flat-out wrong. After all, how can anyone be wrong if all viewpoints feel so right? Was Hitler right about the Jews?
Don’t censor me
You can’t shut me up
So don’t even try
2) Use corny commenter names
Note: Do this if you’ve been respectful and srill have comment bullies calling for your blocking. But do it only to comment on blogs—not on Facebook or Twitter. This step can seem disingenuous, but shouldn’t be. Isn’t what you say more important than what you call yourself? What’s in a name?
Curiously, some consider using another name to comment on a blog a breach of trust—even on blogs that allow anonymous or whatever-name-you-want-discussions. Trust? I see it as a trusty way to get back in the game.
But if you’re gonna fake it, fake it good.
When “blogmenting,” go with silly, harmless names like Lynn Guini or Bill Foled. I went with Mr. Spock once and was surprised how respectfully people interacted with me. Mr. Spock’s got real clout when it comes to the discussion scene. Of course, I had to adopt a persona of pure logic and minimal emotion, which was unsurprisingly easy for me.
Bottom line—if they miss your words because they’re hung up on your names—real discussion isn’t gonna happen anyway.
3) Confound them with truth
If they parrot talking points, offer them a truth cracker. This could open their cage doors to a whole world of possibilities. If they hit you with baseless assumptions, fire back with clarifying questions. Show them you care enough to understand where they’re coming from.
Say someone drops a logical fallacy bomb on you. This is a shut-down tactic most don’t even understand. Someone tried the “No true Scotsman” fallacy on me because I held that there are true Christians and people who call themselves Christian, but may not be.
I explained that this logical fallacy application doesn’t work because a Scotsman is a true Scotsman whether he acts like one or not. A Christian shows what he is by the way he lives. A non-Christian who pretends to be a Christian will show he’s not one by his life. Nobody can fake the funk for long.
Nothing confounds like truth. Keep sharing it and they’ll either call you a hater or “judger” or try to get you banned. Or, if they’re open-minded and smart enough, they’ll try to persuade you or even admit that maybe you’re onto something. Social media discourse CAN be a learning experience.
Block me or ban me
I will always share truth, so do your worst, social media bullies.
As my closing argument, ponder this:
- If someone’s viewpoint is so fragile that respectful dissent brings about a block or ban, is it truly worth discussing?
- And if we fail to challenge the fallacy that truth is subjective and all truths are equally valid, aren’t we giving in to the spirit of the age?
- If you care about civil discourse and its demise, will you join me by being willing to be blocked, banned and even banished in the name of truth?
We shall defend our island of objective truth, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the blogs, we shall fight on the landing pages, we shall fight on Facebook, we shall fight on Twitter, we shall never surrender.
~Lovingly lifted and adapted from Winston Churchill’s “Finest hour” speech
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