For those of you who like to get into online discussions about activist issues that are important to you, I’m curious which strategies you favor, and which ones have worked well or badly for you. For example:
- Do you get into it with the staunchest anti-women (or whatever) person in the thread, or ignore that person and engage mainly with the less passionately anti-woman folks?
- Is there a point at which you’ll walk away from a particular topic, or a particular discussion?
- Have you ever converted anyone to your point of view (whether you meant to or not)?
- If someone’s being a real jerk, do you use a no-holds-barred approach in decimating them, or do you take the high road and keep it classy? Which approach do you find more effective?
- Do you get into debates where your opinion is the minority one, or stick to more “safe places” for people who hold views that are largely like yours?
- Are there some issues you just can’t debate?
- If someone’s attacking others in the thread, do you defend them or stand up to the attacker in some way?
- Have you ever noticed your activist work (and it is work, even if you’re “just discussing” things) impairing your ability to sleep, giving you adrenaline rushes from anger/frustration, or otherwise affecting your physical comfort or health?
These are not the only questions you can answer in the thread – they’re just to give you an idea what I’m wondering about. It’s also okay if the topic wanders a little as we get into the finer points of analyzing our own behavior.