Can You Change Someone’s Mind over Social Media?

To generalize, the answer to the above question is—heck no. Go get a better hobby; arguing over the Internet is fruitless. But if you are the craziest level of optimist and want to try anyway, Joanne O’Connell shares some tips for the Guardian. She presents a four-step strategy:

  • Position: Start by acknowledging common ground between the two of you before you jump into your counterargument. If the person responds by shifting to a “different pillar of argument,” then acknowledge that change in point and address that next.
  • Example: Confidently share examples of your point, but do not bluff if you do not have all the facts yourself.
  • Reason/be reasonable: Remember that you cannot hear each other’s “tone of voice” in the words, and sarcasm and seriousness can sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Do not say anything you would not say in a face-to-face conversation, and do not get personal.
  • Repeat position: Conclude by restating your position and thanking the other person for his or her time.

Can this strategy really change a person’s mind over, for instance, Twitter? Puh-lease—you’re crazy for even reading this far. But you can view the original article here:

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