There are two types of people on the internet:
1) Those who agree with me.
2) Those who disagree with me.
Still, do they all need a response from me? Is it my job to set everyone else straight?
Engagement Without Enmity
I think there are ways to engage well with people who write blogs or comment on blogs. After all, most people write those things because they want to state their opinion and perhaps have an influence on others.
So here are my top five ideas for engaging people on the internet:
1) “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20.)
2) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew5:9.)
3) “Many words mark the speech of a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3.)
4) “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.“ (Romans 12:14.)
5) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1.)
Did I say those are my ideas? They’re not, of course, and many times I fail to live out the life of love evidenced in these verse. But these are the things I hope to keep in mind as I engage people whether on the Internet or in real life.
Because all those people who comment and blog? They’re all real people, just like you and me.
Here’s one more guideline, one that Jesus said sums up all the rules there have ever been or ever will be:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12.)
And that’s how you deal with people you disagree with.
Bonus fun – Let’s see what our friends at Blimey Cow have to say about disagreeing with internet people: