How to Be Less of a Jerk in Facebook Arguments

People continue to fight on Facebook. So, if you are going to argue online, at least be a little bit less of a jerk.

Richie Frieman,
March 27, 2016
Episode #381

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To prove how disgusting getting personal during a Facebook fight can be, here’s an insightful quote from author, Bryant McGill: “If you are rude, cynical, habitually-sarcastic or pessimistic, your life options are going to be very limited.” See: when you get truly offensive with the way you express yourself on Facebook, you will ultimately show the very worst of yourself. When you get personally crude during a Facebook fight, it goes far beyond a Facebook wall; it echoes through every person you call a “friend,” even into your professional life. As I said above, if you’re going to properly disagree with someone on Facebook (about sports, politics, etc.) you can’t let your mannerly guard down. When a Facebook argument becomes a steel cage match of who can dig up personal insults, it will make others question your character, and you will have lost any argument when it comes to being an adult. Instead be witty, clever, get creative, and always remain playful.

Tip #3: Meme Photos as Ammo

In a previous article about Facebook etiquette, I mentioned a very important point about properly embracing Facebook manners: Thou shalt never post embarrassing photos of someone without their permission. Never, ever, ever! Uploading pictures of your friends doing silly things at a wild party just to get back at them during a fight will surely land you in hot water. It will also land you a seat in the Unmannerly Hall of Fame.  Sure, when you’re mad, it’s easy to get behind your computer or phone and type out your frustration on your Facebook wall, but every action has a severe reaction in your Facebook community. This is especially important when posting photos of someone you’re having a disagreement with. Now, don’t think I’m just talking about a terrible photo of someone not looking their best … I also mean adding their face to a meme.

Memes can be a great way to use humor to prove a point. I mean, take a look at some of the recent political debates turned into memes of particular candidates as Darth Vader. Hilarious for sure, but that’s a public figure, and not a coworker or friend. Memes, although funny, can be very hurtful—more hurtful in fact than just a comment about your disagreement. It’s like the old saying, “a picture says a thousands words” and a meme adds about another million to that number. A meme means you looked up a photo, thought of a clever saying, created the meme and then posted it. That’s a lot of work! That shows thought, and deep intent, and therefore is very hard to apologize for, and could thus mean losing someone from your life. So, before you believe that your argument needs a bit more ammo in meme form, take a step back and deeply rethink the ramifications. Let me be clear, I don’t recommend any arguing, but if you “have to," take the high road, and never let your emotions get the best of you. Well, in this case, the worst of you.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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