The term “Discussion on facebook” is in itself an oxymoron, because that implies that a discussion can be had on Facebook. Here I am defining discussion to be “constructive dialogue where people interchange ideas in a peaceful way”. If instead discussion is defined to be “bunch of people angrily trying to impose their holier than thou attitude on strangers on the internet for the purpose of gaining attention from people in their facebook feed saying ‘ooh look at me i’m so awesome because I can use logical fallacies and misinterpret my opponents argument to the extreme to make them look foolish’”. In that case, yeah, discussions happen on Facebook on quite a regular basis.

But in all seriousness, arguments and discussions on Facebook are pointless and just serve to rile people up. Firstly, there’s that statistic that 90% of communication is nonverbal or something like that. People can’t get their ideas and meaning properly across on a one line comment in a facebook thread, which means arguments get misconstrued and misinterpreted (further aided by the fact that you can’t really say ‘sorry come again?’ on a facebook argument).

Secondly, Facebook takes some of the humanity out of it. No longer is the person you are arguing with a person, they are just lines of text disagreeing with you. And how dare these lines of text disagree with you? The bastards. It’s easy to be mean to lines of text. After all, text doesn’t have emotion right?

Also, arguments on Facebook is, by nature, public. You’re no longer arguing with that one person who agrees with Donald Trump’s policy, but with the entire world. Everything you say will be held under utmost scrutiny. No more going back and editing previous statements, people will catch you out on it. The merest mistake and 15 people will swoop on you to call you out on your mistake, only to fly back to their roost looking for their next target. And then you have to fight 15 vultures on top of the person you were already fighting against. And let’s remember, you only have one comment to do it. And god forbid you change your mind: changing your mind in public? No, people have witnessed you fight by a side, you have to stick with it! So plough on ahead, using angry rhetoric to fill in the gaps your doubts have left.

And lastly, it doesn’t accomplish anything. When was the last time someone saw a spew of Facebook comments and said “You know, this person I have been arguing with for the past 10 Facebook comments is right all along, imma thank them for widening my perspective and showing them the way!”? It just makes people angry. Confirmation bias – when people see evidence that contradicts what they believe in, they will interpret it in a way that suits their belief and reinforces their belief. “Here’s 4357139 articles that prove global warming is a thing”, “That’s just proof that the liberal media is trying to brainwash us even further”. That sort of thing. Furthermore, if you have criticisms of someone’s actions or their group’s actions, tell them in person. Don’t attempt to publicly shame them, especially when there’s no guarantee that they’ll read your message until 9 other people have commented on it giving their own opinions on the matter. Public shame will just put people on the defensive and might not elicit the change you want or need.

Tl;dr facebook comment discussions, especially when dealing with political or controversial issues, are pointless, and they make me angry. And yes, this is kind of hypocritical given that I am ranting on a medium that offers no conversation and response. But hey, at least there’s no comment section. And if you want to talk about this, message me at [mhaidlia17] and we can talk about it in person. Don’t make a rambly facebook post about it.