2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 12:38 PM

For civil debating online in Park Ridge. There are more points in the linked article. Before we get started let’s lay down some ground rules: If someone threatens you, you have the right to walk away. No matter how compassionate you’re trying to be, if someone threatens you online* or uses language and imagery that is disrespectful (sexist, racist, etc. ) you have the right to disengage, block them and move on. Yes, in an ideal world we’d engage everyone to find the root of that threatening behavior, but if you don’t feel safe, walk away. *And if anyone threatens you and your safety (or threatens to expose your personal contact information) report them to your local authorities and the report their threat to the platform you’re using (Twitter, etc. ). Moments like that should not be taken lightly. A response that you don’t like is not the same thing as censorship. Too often online people like to log on, direct a rant at someone, and then back away with the last word. If the person being attacked so much as responds with a request for more respect or decorum, some people come back and demand that you stay quiet, because it’s their right to yell at you, without consequence or feedback. But that’s not how that the First Amendment works. If they get to speak their mind, so do you. No matter how hard you try to understand, you will always have a different version of reality than someone else. Someone else’s beliefs, reactions and points of view are shaped by their life experience, not yours. So what may make perfect sense to you may not make ANY sense to them. So rather than trying to get someone else to accept your version of reality as the only truth, try to find a space where you can hear each other’s points of view without judgement. It may not excuse or justify either party’s behavior, but it will definitely give you a better sense of where they’re coming from and help you find compassion and a way to connect Baiting is a real thing. Don’t buy into it. If someone @ replies you publicly over and over using harsh language and attempting to call you out (and call attention to themselves in return), you do not HAVE to respond. It’s a tactic as old as time and it’s the digital equivalent of sticking your foot out in a cafeteria waiting for someone to trip. Eventually someone will and then they’ll pounce. So if they’re baiting you over and over, block them or mute them and walk in the other direction. http://www.designsponge.com/2017/02/modern-etiquette-handling-difficult-conversations-online.html


2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 12:40 PM

Step 1: Listen. And then Listen Again. I’m as guilty as anyone of forgetting to listen as much (if not way more) than I talk online. It’s easy to fall into a place where your words can be published at the blink of an eye and have a weight and life greater than themselves. But sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is listen. And listen again. Whether that means reading and re-reading a tweet or taking a break and walking away from an angry email before you re-read it again and then reply, that break to stop and think is crucial. It’s so easy on social media to forget that there’s not a ticking clock behind us telling us we only have a minute to respond to someone. So if someone leaves a comment that upsets you and you want to whip off a response right away, consider taking a moment to step away, take a walk, or show it to someone else. In those moments I find a good deal of clarity and calmness can appear and help you phrase a response that doesn’t join in the argument, but rather side-steps it in favor of a more constructive conversation.

2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 12:41 PM

Step 2: Tell the other person that you hear them and tell them what you think they’re trying to say. This is not a sarcastic tip. The simple act of saying, “I hear you. It sounds like you’re upset because…” and acknowledging someone else’s feelings is powerful and important. All people want to feel heard and understood and taking the time to do that, rather than “Oh yeah, well you’re a …. ” can sometimes make all the difference.

2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 12:42 PM

Pitfalls to Avoid: Calling someone out publicly. If you want to make a point and you’re upset, try bringing this up with someone privately first. Whether that’s email or a private message or DM, this gives the person a chance to respond without feeling defensive because they’ve been put on the spot in front of their readers/clients/customers. If you accuse someone of something or ask them a controversial question in public, you shouldn’t expect them to not feel put on the spot — and that’s not the easiest place from which to start a constructive conversation. Using buzz words or names meant to insult. Whether it’s a catchphrase or a word you know will upset someone, avoid using terms that will shut people down. Whether you’re calling someone “basic” or a “snowflake, ” know that using words with derogatory connotations will often immediately make someone feel defensive and show them you’re not interested in knowing them as a person and hearing their point of view. And if you’re not interested in hearing their point of view, don’t bring a discussion to their page. Give people a break (including yourself): You’re not always going to respond with kindness. Other people will do the same. Sometimes it’s ok just to say sorry and accept it wasn’t your best effort. And it’s ok to accept the same from others- and then move on. We’re all human and we all have bad days, so when you run into that feeling, just say the words and let it go. *I’ve written my share of emails over the years apologizing to people that just happened to catch me on a bad day or at a bad time. It’s a good idea to never be so proud that you can’t send a simple, sincere apology for not being at your best.

2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 1:21 PM

May wish to add these guidelines under the site's Description for site participants.

2 years ago on 02/06/2017 at 3:41 PM

Take a deep breath before you press "post"!