I’ve been grappling recently with how to communicate on social media with friends and acquaintances when they share inflammatory posts that are obviously designed to sow discord. You’ve seen them: posts that are premeditatedly conceived to get under the skin of a particular group.
Regardless of whether or not these posts are ultimately meant to jar those with opposing viewpoints into a presumed “wake up call,” as soon as the resulting anger and outrage arise, all critical reasoning stops. It’s simple brain science; we go into fight, flight, or freeze mode and our ability to respond rationally flies right out the window.
Other times, posts are shared that have elements of verifiably blatant lies. In these cases, I try to respectfully share articles that tell the truth, from non-partisan fact-finding sites. My liberal friends tell me not to bother.
In a liberal Facebook group that I love, I copied a post from a pro-Trump acquaintance and asked for help refuting her points, in case anyone already had the information about Trump and veterans’ healthcare. The replies were really interesting. They ranged from “Don’t bother; you can’t fix stupid” to substantive content that was super helpful.