As the “plague of frogs” descends on Twitter next week, I thought I would share my view on how we should comport ourselves when back. I have spent my whole life dealing with people close to me who are deeply convinced of their own righteousness (when the evidence says otherwise). Yet we have generally got along OK because I avoid judging them and still love them for who they are. We are in a culture war, but the enemy isn’t (generally) our friends and family, even if their conscience has been taken captive. Our goal is peace, which means destroying deceptive narratives and corrupt ideologies, while simultaneously winning over hearts and minds.
A lesson I keep having to relearn is to “vibe high” and only engage with those who act respectfully. I don’t swear very often on public forums. I do my best to use clear and precise language. Many of my posts get deleted before I hit send because they are self-serving, of fail to create sufficient value or interest for the reader. I deliberately add in fun stuff and lots of beauty to break up the heaviness of the subjects we address. I do my best not to engage in any kind of personal attacks, or to drag others down. I certainly avoid mocking people because of their beliefs (at least when those beliefs are sincere). I don’t get into “dogfight” debates with others. I stick to my own lived experience and subjects that I understand.
This recipe has served me well over the years. All social media is a facade, but we can choose whether it is our better self that is on display. It is worth remembering that many of those we will be re-encountering on Twitter are about to get nightmarish news about the genocidal jabs, and will be having their cultural and political idols torn down in front of them. Delivering a functioning society out of this mess is going to be hard enough. Lashing out is cathartic — and I have my guilty pleasures too — but just reinforces the division. When you have already won the argument it makes you look small and mean. By emanating reason and morality you will model the behaviour you wish to see, and (in my personal experience) it eventually will be reflected back at you.
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Vibe high for success on social media