Convincing people takes time and effort posted on 12 August 2017

Convincing people takes time and effort. If you are not willing to be patient and understanding, your actions will likely have the opposite effect.

A few days ago, an engineer’s manifesto caused a uproar. People took to social media to give their opinion on the situation and many got into heated discussions. The main issue behind these is that social platforms (e.g Twitter) are not suited for healthy discussions - and in my opinion provide more harm than good.

People form their opinion on different topics over time - maybe their whole life. Tweeting them your opinion is not going to instantly change theirs. Calling them name or labeling them will not help and instead, polarizes people on the subject, making it harder to discuss and reason about it.

If one wants to spread awareness of a social issue and improve the situation, here are a few things that I wish people would do more:

  • Always be polite with others - insulting/labeling someone does not encourage healthy discussions.
  • Keep an open mind. You should approach others with an opinion that you are genuinely willing to change. You want to exchange ideas, not force yours or make the issue more polarized.
  • Try maybe to spend time with people face to face may be more effective, especially if you are talking about a social issue. Empathy is hard to communicate with a tweet/facebook post/etc.

I strongly believe that people are naturally good and that our society can improve as a whole and not as one side winning over the other.