31 May Why I Don’t Publicly Debate My Twitter Followers
If you know Redeemed Royalty Ministries, you know that social media is one of our primary means of communication. While there are obvious marketing and exposure benefits to social media, the primary reason for this is outreach. People absorb over 34 gigabytes of media data per day. The bulk of which is not helpful. In fact, when I look at my “trending” columns on Facebook, Twitter, and the like, I most often find that it is trash that is trending – lies, manipulations, voyeurisms, etc.
In response, we created the #TrendingTruth campaign. Rather than creating more trending trash, we set out to impact through Trending Truth. Of course, my posts are often atypical if not outright controversial. As such, people tend to disagree at times.
We get a tremendous amount of positive feedback. However, complaint is not uncommon. My primary focuses are on religion, politics, culture, etc. and while I try to walk the narrow path of truth, I know that I am not always correct. Even if I was, the topics alone stir up disagreement, resentment, and often hostility. From the beginning I have made it a priority to avoid public discourse via Twitter (especially). My current bio includes this blurb: “*I don’t do public arguments. DM me if u disagree. Happy 2 discuss.” I thought I would share the why behind that decision. Here are my Top 4 Reasons for not publicly debating(or even communicating with) my Twitter followers.
It turns into a contest
Often, people are not interested in rational discourse. They are only interested in pushing their opinion. Public discourse only throws fuel on that fire. By keeping conversations private, there is no ability to show off for an audience. This helps keep my priorities rightly aligned as well my interlocutors.
It clogs up my feed
I want people to be able to scroll through my posts and see the content that I am posting. While the desktop version of Twitter has an option to separate original posts from conversations, at least some mobile interfaces splice them together. This means thathat if someone goes to my profile, they will catch an endless string of hard to follow soundbites from various conversations. By refraining from public discourse viewers can scroll through our original #TrendingTruth posts.
Debating through 140 character limits is interesting, but not effective
Comments get broken up after 140 characters. That’s no way to hold a conversation… and the topics often use big words, which only magnifies the problem.
The layout makes it difficult to track conversations, especially if multiple parties engage
I may just be Twitter ignorant, but every time I have gotten into a public conversation that lasts more than a few lines, it appears that conversations get tripped up, tangled, and it’s hard to tell which replies are responding to which posts, especially from mobile devices. It is further complicated when multiple people are Tweeting as a group with multiple names tagged (which also shortens your character count).
With that said, I do try to respond to private conversations. This includes people of all different backgrounds, especially those who disagree. We have been able to help many people with all kinds of troubles and complaints. They are not always fruitful (at least to my immediate natural eye), but I do what I can when I can. I hope this will help you understand why I have chosen to abstain from public discourse (especially on Twitter).
If you are interested in public forum discussion, I am starting a page that will include some hot topics and provide an opportunity to discuss difficult topics. The page is not even set up yet and our bloggers have not been activated, but if you want to make sure you are a part of it “Like” The Narrow Path.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Leave a comment below and share to get your friends in on the conversation.
For more like this, check out: Why I Am No Longer An Atheist (A Blueprint For Reaching The Unreachable).