There is an anomaly that occurs on social media quite frequently, actually. People accusing people of being negative, or being told to be more optimistic. People being called angry (or much, much worse,) or being told their opinion is wrong. I don’t know if these people who accuse and yell and correct people for their opinions realize that they are making complete fools of themselves, but with everything you post online being public (unless you are that lame guy on Twitter who deleted his half of the convo with me this week because I schooled him,) it’s good to know some words. (It’s also good to know how to screen cap for convos like that so I can preserve his ignorance forever and share with anyone I choose.)
|Perhaps Chiellini is just sharing his opinion.|
Words are confusing, but they can also work for you, if you use them correctly. Here are some words I find people using incorrectly too often online:
• If the team is winning and everything is going well, it doesn’t make you optimistic. It simply makes you a fan. It is natural to have and express happy feelings when things are going well. The reverse is also true, if everything at your club is horrible, you are not negative or a pessimist for expressing unhappy feelings. Just a fan.
• If things are only going 99.9% well and someone expresses concerns about the .1% that is not, it doesn’t make them negative or even a pessimist. It simply means that they are not blind. The reverse is also true, if someone finds a ray of light in disastrous season, it doesn’t make them an optimist. It means that they are also not blind and are willing to acknowledge, say, the life ring that survived the sinking of the Titanic.
|Sometimes, when it comes to words, less is more.... effective|
• If you want to only talk about the things that are going well and someone else talks about anything else that’s not, it doesn’t mean you are an optimist and they are negative. It means you have buried your head in the sand, and they’re simply looking around to see the truth. There are usually both things going well and not going well, and both platforms deserve to be talked about as desired, but not judged.
• Expressing an opposing view or evidence does not mean you are angry or wrong. However, accusing someone else of being angry or wrong when they have expressed an opposing view does make you both ignorant and wrong. It also discredits your opinion and makes you look the fool. Assuming and assigning an emotion to someone based on words on a screen forfeits your right to respect.
|When you can see someone's face, there are more emotional cues.|
• No one can be wrong when presenting facts or statistics, unless they present incorrect data, but then it is the data that is wrong. Why people argue against or make emotional accusations against factual information that is verifiably correct is beyond me. Like watching someone yell at a rock, but better for the poor rock.
• Likewise, no one can be wrong for sharing an opinion. It’s appropriate to disagree and/or share an opposing opinion and it’s appropriate to discuss how they gained their opinion or came to their conclusions. And while the ignorance of information in the formation of their opinion may make them look equally ignorant, it’s still their opinion, so not wrong.
• It is so important to understand the difference between fact and opinion. So many people argue when they simply don’t like the evidence, but it doesn’t change the facts. When debating with someone, if they present evidence, it’s most effective if you submit evidence which counters that evidence. Not like when someone says “Red and black are Milan’s colors” and you say “AC Milan was founded in 1899.” While both are true statements, it doesn’t help your cause to veer off topic, although it often provides me personally with some comic relief.
If you have problems with words, try this very effective treatment.
It’s weird to write a piece like this. It certainly begs the question of whether or not social media has killed all social graces as well as a lot of common sense. Certainly, the responses to my commenting guidelines have shown that judging, gossiping, bullying, abusing, and worse are entitlements that are more important than life itself to some people. Well, at least until it happens to them. But honestly, what is most disconcerting are the absences of basic logic and common sense in conversations online. Okay, no what is truly most disconcerting is that I have spent way too much time on Twitter lately. But hey, at least I’m learning how to use my words.
This post inspired by the music of Missing Persons’ “Words”
Remember to leave a glass of wine and an orange for La Befana tonight! She may not be able to bring us the closing of the sale of the club, but maybe she’ll bring you something if you’ve been good. Or maybe she'll bring you coal. She knows your Twitter handle.
Our next match is
Milan vs. Cagliari
Sunday, January 8 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)