Effective Internet Conversation Tip #1

Tip #1:

When engaged in conversation/discussion/debate/argument in an online format: Stay on the topic at hand, or introduce a change in the conversation logically.

 

I read so many online “conversations” that go something like this:

Original Poster: Why do you train dogs?

Responder: I train dogs because my dogs enjoy it, I enjoy it, and there is a great sense of satisfaction in accomplishing things together.

Original Poster: I don’t understand that. I thought you cared about dogs in shelters! Why do you want dogs to die?

 

Do you see how the third comment has absolutely nothing to do with the original question asked, or with the answer given?

This is something that I see over, and over, and, over and over in discussions online. The conclusion drawn – that the responder does not care about dogs in shelters and the charge that he or she wants them to die – has absolutely no connection to the original question about training, nor to the responder’s statement about why he or she chooses to train dogs.

I see this most often in discussions on topics where people are coming from a place of high emotion. Dog training debates, debates about food, political debates, religious debates, etc.

I actually believe that we can have fruitful and effective conversations, debates, even arguments, on Internet platforms, such as Facebook, but in order to do so, we really do need to refrain from drawing conclusions that have absolutely nothing to do with what another person has actually said.

 

Something like this would make more sense:

Original poster: Why do you train dogs?

Responder: I train dogs because my dogs enjoy it, I enjoy it, and there is a great sense of satisfaction in accomplishing things together.

Original Poster: There are many dogs in shelters that could be helped by training. Have you ever considered volunteering to assist a shelter with training?

 

That is a transition of subject that makes sense.  And there is no accusation being made toward the responder, but that is a tip for another day!

Some food for thought!

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