Felecia Datus, Center for Online Evangelism
The Center for Online Evangelism is a missionary project devoted to developing online mission stations.
Some time ago, a friend on Facebook posted something that upset me.
Not only did this person write something inflammatory about someone I respected, but what the individual posted as a ‘fact’ was actually wrong. I had sat in on a meeting in which the matter was discussed and cleared. And now, this person was speaking as if they had the facts. The post was garnering some attention and there was an online discussion going on in the comments section.
I sensed my irritation growing the more I read the discussion. I decided to jump in. I was going to prove to everyone that the “poster” was ignorant on the subject and needed to be corrected. I began to type. “Everyone will see how wrong you are! You’re spreading lies and I’m calling you out on it!”
I smiled to myself and closed the tab. I knew I had won the argument. I envisioned success; those online would see that the person was wrong and I was right.
But my plan backfired.
Instead of seeing my point, as the discussion continued, I was attacked and accused of being a liar. Hurt, embarrassed, and angrier than I was at first, I fought back. Then it got worse. I did what I thought was the next best thing in social media land; I hit the Almighty Unfriend Button.
Would the situation have turned out differently if I had reacted in another way? How could a friendship suddenly end with just a click of a button because of words online? Did both sides represent Jesus Christ well?
In the end, I realized I lost a friendship in order to "win" an argument online.
If you really want to “win” in online discussions, here are 5 things to remember:
As a digital disciple, your words serve as a testimony of your faith. When you engage, bring light and give instruction. Use your influence to represent your Lord and showcase His wisdom.
Winning arguments online isn’t about gaining victory over someone else; it’s about gaining victory over yourself.
Reposted with permission from centerforonlineevangelism.org.
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