It’s quite commonly understood that the political and social climate of culture has been tense and frayed for some time now.
No matter what side of the argument you fall on regarding any topic, it can be hard to deal with this. From online toxicity to having to elucidate your opinions regularly, or simply feeling tired of it all, it can be hard to avoid the pressing stresses that most people feel when surfing online or debating with friends.
Of course, this post will not be political in nature, because there’s enough of that out there. But what it will be is a primer to help you survive some of the social conflicts of today.
Sometimes speaking out and protesting your opinion is important. It can lead to healthy change. But rather than trying to temper you or rile you up in either direction, we think it could be wiser simply to help you manage your health when exposed to this.
After all, our opinions matter, but our humanity matters more.
TAKE A BREAK
If you spend too much time on Twitter, it can be tempting to want to fight absolutely everyone who disagrees with you, utilizing the ferocity of your words and opinions. But if you consider that your quest, you will never finish it. The internet is filled with wonderful people, but also people of astonishing ignorance (and this is on both sides of almost every social and political debate.) Often people simply want to head to those platforms to shout their views and are likely not receptive in listening to others.
Even if you’ve worked on your patience, there’s no reason others will. Of course, if you wish to express yourself, you should. But simply take a break from time to time to help yourself disengage. Absorb some guided meditation for relaxation, go for a walk, read something, or conduct some light stretching. All of these things can be much more important than posting that scathing retweet or deflecting an insult back.
DON’T ASSUME THE WORST
While there are many trolls involved in heated debates or discussions, it can be extremely easy to vilify rational opposing viewpoints when in disagreement with someone. This doesn’t mean you are dysfunctional, ‘othering’ someone you dislike or do not understand is perhaps what humanity does best, and has done for countless epochs of history. It can take time to come at the problem with a renewed mindset, but sometimes it can be extremely worthwhile to do so. But what would this simple, renewed focus look like?
‘Don’t assume the worst.’ While trolls can be easy to spot, people with a differing opinion are not the enemy. People often think and do what makes sense to them, just as you are. Opening a dialogue can help rather than labeling them defunct, because the same can happen to you otherwise, and likely will. This is how progress is made, and how your time avoids becoming wasted. Don’t assume the worst.
Which is better? Arguing your point of view in a heated manner, or spending some time to learn something new? Which will help you become more rounded? While debate can help you articulate your views and understand them better, constantly seeking context, and never keeping yourself locked in a set framework of understanding can help you continually search for truth, and not only that – this process is fun! With that, you’ll realize why you took an interest in these topics in the first place, rather than having them feel like a chore.
We hope this guide has helped. Remember, social media and this tiresome ‘culture war’ might not be going anywhere soon, and so caring for yourself is always of the utmost priority.
*Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post*