How To Digitally Disagree

Differing with others at online platforms is getting more and more common in our lives. Well, it seems we moved debates -as one of most important parts of our lives- into the digital space. The question is how can we deal with disagreements virtually?

First let just break it down into two main bottlenecks of doing digital disagreements right way:

  • What do you think: did we manage to learn how to argue correctly with others over the several thousands of years of the civilized humankind? I mean in general.. at average level. Had made some improvements but there are still techniques to learn for individuals to really master it.
  • Did we ever learned collectively how to manage digital data? So far so bad. I know we did not have that much time to develop a safe digital space then to learn arguing properly sooo feeling a bit bittersweet hoping for success in this field… Surely it is one of our biggest challenges effecting digital disagreements so just better to know more about data mining and influencing at digital space especially fakeprofile-fakenews-type of ways.. (hello! Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal) We face with millions of online posts and content every single 60 seconds. Average in 2016, examining data quantity what is coming to us only from Facebook, we had 3,3 million posts appearing on earth in every single minutes. Information is key. It shapes the way how we live, and what we believe is right. Creating fake information is the worst enemy of ours in the 21st century because so far we are highly unprotected against these kind of manipulations.

Obviously debates are all over the digital space about our current political elite and my fellow citizens are trying to take sides. Majority of these discussions and disagreements I have witnessed happen virtually as I am not in my very own country to talk to people. Even if I would be, some people just prefer to express opinion as comments on social media then to bring this up to someone at the same room. First we need to notice that is easier way to use virtual space disagreeing then face to face because it allows us to take more time to calm down, to master our emotions and react accordingly. Our basic motives in arguments is to make the other one get to our side and see our truth. Are we succeeding in it?

I have been listening to this great podcast: The Jordan Harbinger Show, and they just made so much sense describing today’s main debates on the online platforms what I personally also experiencing. Their topic was talking about influencing. Well, to get there they had started by noticing the current upraise in political digital discussions. We can not argue with that. This is seriously happening. The show had influenced my thinking therefor some elements I am writing here reflects their point of view. I just add my current experiences and my ideas around their discussing in the following. Please check out their podcast. I was just using their first 15 minutes because I was listening to it when I analyzed my way of reacting to these political debates in my own virtual life.

So let us learn from Bob Burg and Jordan’s discussion about what the world need to do to mastering /digital/ communication, in a way to make disagreements more productive. The fact is people sometimes getting the current disagreement -mostly a political situation- into a level, when they shot down any chance to get it straight with the other people in the dispute. I have been recently deleted by some friends on social media because my believes were so different regarding Hungarian politics then theirs and they tried to clear out anyone from their newsfeed who is posting content about the government. I consider myself an open minded person who wanna hear all sides.. I believe that my posting on social media reflect not just my opinion but my openness towards the opposing ideas, as many people finding me from even other sides of the arguments to share their sides. So was wondering what I have from the etiquette of digital arguments to lead some people towards me to share and at the same time what is missing to chase some of them away? I have been also reading thousands of comments under political articles in the last few months to kind of sense what is going on in big picture in my country  and I have seen some pretty shockingly dirty comment-fights.. so I was wondering why people let things get this far about ‘digital’ disagreements? Why can’t we start to step closer to each other’s truth? There are some answers from the podcast on how to handle someone who is pushing your buttons? Instead of loosing our cool, and feel so bad about ourselves when we lost our control over emotions and reacted badly, we have to learn to handle it with calmness and control.

  1. So first speaker asks us to notice that there is a choice to react properly which comes with imagining that we managed to react the best way. Visioning it, that we held self confident instead of turning out of ourselves. What do you usually think about people managing to held their sh.t together? It certainly gives them dignity, and character, doesn’t it? Does not feel way much better if when someone says something annoying we “Do not let emotions into driver’s seat, but let them be present at the car” Self-confidence can certainly come from control over emotions. That is actually way much ‘sexier’ to anyone then shouting, or pushing only their points during a disagreement. You know it makes people super respected if they can master their emotions and react with calmness on any stressing arguments. So start it by taking a moment picturing you done this perfectly the next time someone is trying to grab you into a fight.
  2. You have to keep practicing it, and really imagine that feeling what it gives you when every response of yours is perfectly showing keeping your emotions in control. Simulations in our mind is actually really close to the reality. Our subconscious mind can not really differentiate. So the key in step 2 is really feel the feeling what would come out if you do manage arguments well.
  3. Sooner or later by visualizing, you will learn the different taste of being master of your reactions in emotionally fueled situations, and be able to keep cool and give the right response as it was practiced. It is not coming from the fact you went through in your mind over again and again what would have said but to really practice to see/feel that desired situation or feeling.
  4. Then you will start to feel different about yourself. You will be able to understand that you are actually influencing others the most when you are not trying to force your ideas on them. It is coming from the fact that you let others be themselves and left your own emotions about them being themselves and not being on your side on the back seat. Mostly my main points and reasons do not even go trough to people in any arguments because they have emotional reactions instead of listening and thinking with me. And they have it because mostly I have the same way of not listening and thinking with them just listing my reasons… We will certainly not step closer to each other’s view at the end. How many times we had this fight digitally or in life when we just tried to say our points… Although if you master your emotions you kind of role model to them the way that as you did listen to them they should do to you too and stop disagreements to lead to shooting others out of your life.

Digitally you are not needed to instantly react and people won’t see your body language, so it is way easier to practice this process. Let us practice this, please do argue with me about my ideas in the comment section! :)

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