If you're ever on Facebook, then you're probably no stranger to Facebook debates. People love to discuss various political and social issues on Facebook. We can complain about these debates all we want, but they can be pretty interesting.
If it weren't for the sociopolitical debates on Facebook, I probably wouldn't have that much on my News Feed to be entertained by. This would mean I would look up from a screen more often, but it would also mean I wouldn't have the breadth of knowledge I do now.
As a writer, I really envy those who can put their opinions out there so freely. But, not everyone behaves quite the same in these arguments.
Here are 10 types of people you'll come across in a Facebook debate:
1. The Essayists
A lot of people in Facebook debates will write full-on essays. Some people write a well-thought-out paragraph or two, while others seem like they are trying to test out the limit of Facebook's character count.
I can't criticize what these people are saying because it's often very intelligent, or at least, the first few paragraphs are. But honestly, I have to stop reading most of the time. Nonetheless, I have to hand it to these people for putting more effort into a Facebook comment than I put into some of my final papers in college.
2. The Likers
These people enter Facebook debates not in the form of comments, but through “likes” on other people's comments. Every time they see a comment they agree with, they “like” it. While this is certainly low-effort, I understand people have other things to do.
I don't expect people to start writing essays on the subway while going over a bridge, frantically trying to hit send before the train goes underground again. Keep doing your thing, likers, because you're probably boosting someone's morale. Sometimes the initial follower is just as important as the leader.
3. The Grammar Snobs
These people cannot bother to form real arguments, so they attempt to silence others by pointing out spelling and grammar errors. Grammar snobs are irritating because they are skirting the actual issue and just trying to make other people feel small and unintelligent.
4. The People Who Go For “Low Blows”
Some people will stoop even lower than insulting the intelligence of others. Sometimes, they will mention something in a commenter's life. They usually mask this as an attempt to prove that the other person is hypocritical, but in reality, it's just an attempt to be mean. Among these people will be your ex, or other people who have irrational vendettas against you.
5. The One-Comment Wonders
These people insert themselves into arguments once to make a brief comment, but then don't follow up with anyone who argues against them. Maybe they don't have anything else to say that wouldn't be repetitive. Or, maybe other people are already saying what they would have said. Whatever the case is, I can't blame them for making their point and leaving.
6. The Curious People
These people tend to enter debates and ask questions. Typically, they are asking for some sort of explanation so they can better understand the debate. I feel sympathy for these people because they aren't actually saying anything harmful. But little do they know, they're likely to get eaten alive in this argument and probably should have just Googled it.
7. The People Who Tell Others To “Google It”
These people typically use the line, “It's not my job to educate you.” While that might seem a little condescending at first, it's also pretty true. It's especially true when a member of an oppressed group is asked to explain something regarding the oppression they experience. When you really think about it, these people are just a more dedicated version of the people who comment once. Instead of just leaving the debate, they'll tell you to Google it.
8. The People Who Say Ignorant Things In A Disturbingly Well-worded Way
These people seem to be “smart” enough to create perfectly constructed sentences, but they are making ignorant and sometimes bigoted points. This always disturbs me because I can see how someone very uninformed could be convinced by their lavish vocabulary, and end up believing something completely messed up. This just goes to show that education level does not necessarily correlate with intelligence.
9. The People Who Make Statuses About It Afterward
The main participants in the debate will likely hightail it to their own timelines once the debate is finished, making statuses about the issue that was just debated. I suppose they think if they see one person expressing a problematic belief, then other people are likely to have this problematic belief, too. So, why not work to put an end to it with a status? I don't know if you'll change someone's mind entirely, but you may expose some people to ideas they haven't thought about before.
10. The Stalkers
I know some of us are grabbing our popcorn and reading the debate to see what goes down. Even if the debates don't get too intense, they can be pretty informative. It can be entertaining to see who gets involved and what they have to say.
In Facebook debates, there is far more than just a right and wrong person. There are nuances to the argument, and there are people who handle those nuances in different ways. Even if I don't agree with everyone's arguing style, I'm still grateful to have a News Feed that informs me of so many new issues and perspectives, and occasionally gives me a few laughs.