Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Walking through debate theory


Thinking about stuff

Thinking about stuff

When you feel passionately about something it’s only natural that you’ll come across others that feel differently, people who are just as passionate about their own views. And with social media we often see up close and personal all the different opinions of the people we call friends. Where a political opinion or a religious comment might be left silent in our face to face dealings, the misplaced feeling of anonymity causes many of us to open right up about what we feel strongly about when we’re online.

I’ve never been a great debater. I don’t even like watching debates because I can see both sides of most arguments, and I don’t like to see anyone lose. But these days with politics continually running on 24/7 news stations there’s lots of fodder for posts. And people take sides loudly and regularly. Sometimes it’s made me uncomfortable…and a few times I’ve thought about unfriending folks who have vastly different opinions about religion and politics than my own.

But I’ve never unfriended anyone. Because if I unfriend someone because they think different than me how will I get to hear the other side of the argument? How can there be any expansion of my mind, any reconsideration of other points of view if I don’t even see their comments?

I thought about all of this yesterday during a morning walk. I was having a Facebook debate about a truck safety issue with a friend. We don’t agree on some things because we come from different life experiences. We base our opinions on the things we know. That’s what everyone does. Some things we will have to agree to disagree about. Other things will be resolved on common ground.

In the end what I came to realize on my walk is that friends don’t have to like the same things, think the same things, support the same things. Friends just have to be open to new ideas, respectful of different points of view. Debate, as uncomfortable as it is, is how change happens.

And change can be good, even when it’s hard.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

15 thoughts on “Walking through debate theory

  1. I haven’t unfriended anyone, but I have stopped their feed from showing up on my timeline. I had to, because their posts were ruining my day!

    On the other hand, one of my close friends is the polar opposite of me when it comes to politics and other things. We put our differences aside, laugh at them, and all is good. Sometimes, we ***gasp**** even agree on something.

    A healthy debate is good, but I think compromise and empathy is something our entire country needs to work on (myself included).


    • I think I need to learn how to block a feed in FB. On the other hand compromise isn’t possible if you don’t hear the other side, so maybe not.


  2. Social media does tend to take away the ‘think before you say’ that use to be around in face to face – the really sad thing thing is there appears to be two main types on social media now – those like myself who VERY rarely share of any of my real thoughts for fear of being attacked by those who disagree and those who don’t give a damn about what they say or who they may hurt – because contrary to the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me” words do hurt – ask anyone who has every been bullied.


    • Yes words do hurt. And social media has given some people voices that would never say what they think out loud…and don’t have any filter at all. It’s hard to ignore.


  3. I have friends whose views on many things are the opposite of mine, but we don’t flaunt those differences and it’s fine. Some of them often forward emails supporting their views, but those are easily deleted without being read. There was the brother of a friend, though, whose Facebook posts too often contained sexist innuendos that really ruffled my feathers – he’s been blocked.


  4. I don’t unfriend, but I do “hide.” For me, Facebook isn’t where I go for political debate. I have a particular cousin that is ALWAYS trying to sway everyone to her extremist political views – it’s all she ever posts. Extremism doesn’t sit well with my morning tea. On the other hand, there are some social/political/current events items that I may not know about (gasp!) without Facebook. (Now, that’s just downright embarrassing, but true.) So, I’m thankful for the friends that occasionally post their views on things that are important to them. Because as much as I love them, life isn’t just about the funny memes or cute kid pics.


    • I agree there have been many things, political and more likely family, that I would not have known without FB. So I’m glad to be associated and it’s easy enough to ignore most of the other stuff. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. I agree. I’m vocal (i.e., posting on facebook) about things that I believe in. I’ll debate a bit but after a while I move on to something else–often feels like too much energy to put into something that the other person defends vehemently. At least most of my friends can have an intelligent discussion without resorting to name calling.


  6. Meant to include: But I think that if I keep posting and providing info and evidence, that maybe, just maybe, eventually people will think about it and change or modify their stances. I can’t help but believe that social media helped in great part with the advance of gay rights so much more quickly than anyone had expected.


  7. Great post, Dawn. I’ve had similar thoughts regarding social media and friends. I haven’t unfriended anyone, either, although I’ve thought about it from time to time. We do need to learn how to listen to each other, truly listen, and not just debate the sound bites the news media feeds us.

    I read an article a year or two ago about how Google figures out things such as your political leanings so that when you search for something, you get things geared towards your tastes and preferences. The danger in this is that we might not ever see another point of view that disagrees with ours, and learn from it. Or maybe find something outside of our realm of tastes and preferences and thereby discover something new to us.


  8. Yes, I think it’s creepy how google knows so much about us and targets the articles and ads to what they think we are interested in. And you are right, the risk is that we stop seeing other stuff.


  9. Thank you, Dawn, for saying what some of us aren’t brave enough to admit! I have pretty strong opinions about certain subjects, but I try to be respectful of others. Most of the time, I simply refuse to be drawn into the fray. And I don’t like it when somebody tries to goad me into debating with them because things then tend to get ugly. I guess we all feel powerful when we can remain anonymous (one more reason I’m glad I don’t do Facebook, ha1)


  10. Hmmm, maybe this is why I don’t have all the facebook stuff. I am happy with the collie blog.

    I tends to not see things as varying shades of grey and not black in white. The conservative part of realizes you can’t save everyone, but I will lend a hand to those in need.

    At times you have to agree to disagree.

    Dog Dad


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