Recently, I’ve received several messages and comments from people asking me why I even bother either responding to people who make inappropriate comments on my posts or making videos about other peoples’ content. They typically say things like, “What’s the point of fighting them?” or “Why are you giving them airtime?” or something similar. Often, this is followed up by something along the lines of, “They’re not going to change their mind anyway.” This is the point I want to speak into here.
I want to make reference to the process of debate. During a debate, the goal is not to convince or persuade the person who you are debating. Instead, the goal is to convince or persuade the people in the audience. This is the principle I apply when responding to inappropriate comments or critiquing someone else’s content.
I do not expect nor intend to change that particular person’s mind. I’m fact, most times I couldn’t care less what that particular person thinks about me and my response or critique. Instead, what I am attempting to do is share a counter argument or opinion to theirs’s so as to give some of the people in the audience – in this case, the people reading the comments or watching the video – an opportunity to have their mind’s changed.
Perhaps some people in the audience agree, either wholeheartedly or just a little bit, with what a particular person has said in a comment or shared in a video. In some cases, if I don’t reply or create content that challenges this, that audience member might not have an opportunity to have their beliefs challenged about that particular thing. Using the framework of debate, that is like only having one person on stage speaking about their opinions without anyone offering a different perspective.
Do I respond to everyone? No. Is every post I share a fight with someone? No.
Among other reasons (which I’ve spoken about elsewhere), my intention is to present an alternative viewpoint so that you, the people reading, have differing perspectives to draw on when coming to your own conclusions. I don’t do it for them. I do it for me (because I also learn by researching and creating content) and I do it for you.
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