The other day I got into an argument with someone whom I respect. He’s a decade younger, but well-educated, and very passionate about his beliefs, the way in which he feels his students should be taught, and is one of the most well-spoken people I’ve ever encountered. He posted something on Twitter, and I took it as a sincere request for help on how to reach certain students in his classroom; so, being a decade into my teaching career, and feeling as though I’m quite knowledgable on the subject, I responded.
Unfortunately, he didn’t like my response. Which is fair. People don’t have to like everything I say or recommend. But instead of attempting to have a discussion about it, he jumped straight into an argument. We exchanged messages for the better part of thirty minutes, and I felt – as did he – that there was simply no one listening on the other end. Eventually, he ran out of things to say, and turned it into a personal attack. I tried hard to stray from getting defensive, and instead answered his attack to the best of my ability, before he simply decided he was done, and blocked me from his account. That was his way of ending the conversation. Or so I thought.
He continued to argue his case after blocking me, and while I couldn’t respond, I thought it was a bit silly to see someone air their frustrations without any allowance for response.
The internet has allowed for people to hit the block button, and literally shut out the other person from a conversation or argument. It’s the new slamming down of the phone, or talk-to-the-hand gesture. The new generation doesn’t have to deal with facing an argument anymore. There’s no walking away, and then having to confront the situation later. Unless they lift the “block” – which essentially means they are giving up, and admitting fault, or saying they agree to disagree – they never have to deal with it again.
We’ve all gotten into arguments, and we’ve all taken some of those arguments too far.
So, the Question of the Day:
When do you stop arguing?