Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Facebook Rule of two (2)

A Thurber Brigade Social Media Sidestep

Years ago I sat at a table with some friends in a shopping mall. We asked shoppers to sign a petition (the details don't matter to this point). A man came up and began arguing vehemently with us against our cause. I say us, but in reality, only I engaged with the man. My friends just sat quietly.  After the man left I asked why they didn't join me, after all they had recruited me for this endeavor so it really was their cause.

"There are certain people who will never change their minds, no matter the facts or figures," one answered. "There is no reason to argue with them and better in the long run to just leave them to their beliefs. You'll appear more tolerant and they will just seem bitter to observers."

So when I get in arguments, I attempt to adhere to this concept. I'll argue to a point, but then just try to change the conversation. After a few points it will become obvious that it may not be worth going further.

So I recommend that in Facebook arguments—not personal comments or lists—that there be The Facebook Rule of Two (FB2):

• You may only reply twice to a topic.
• You may only have two paragraphs per reply.
• A paragraph may only be two sentences. (Watch those run-on sentences)

For example, let's say that someone posts a meme that states American mass-produced beer (i.e. Bud) is the best.  You reply that it sucks because they skimp on ingredients. The other guy points out how cool the bottles are for the brand. So you only have one more chance to tell the guy with no taste buds that Brewers should spend more money on ingredients rather than advertising. No matter if he keeps posting some comment on how the girls in the ads are hot or some other drivel, that's it.
It might also be good to have some way to respond to the guy with no taste that you have seen his comment(s), but it can't be a word/sentence reply. Maybe someone will come up with an emoji for the situation or maybe you could just type the number 2 (or FB2), indicating you are a Rule of Two adherent.

Think of the Facebook Rule of Two to be a way to make Facebook more civil and help us all to become more tolerant of others. No matter the beer they drink.
The Thurber Brigade almost decided this shouldn't be a sidestep because social media has such a strong influence on relationships these days. However, since we haven't dipped into the social media realm before we thought, "oh, well." 

(Okay, okay, the cause I was working for that I mentioned above was that enlisted people in the military needed a union. Hey, Rule of Two buddy!)

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