This acquaintance posted something about how he thought the parodies of Rick Perry's campaign video "Strong" were funny, but he didn't get why people were offended in the first place.
I responded to say that it was offensive because DADT was a horrible policy and when Perry suggests that it shouldn't have been repealed, he's insulting the hard-working gays and lesbians in the military.
Afterwards, the following conversation took place with someone I've never met and don't know at all--a Facebook friend of this acquaintance responded with this:
I've been thinking about it off and on all day, and I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do. The way I see it, there are a few different ways to look at whether or not to respond to comments like these on Facebook:
- Don't Respond Because It's Pointless- I highly doubt that anything I said changed this guy's mind about gay people serving in the military. And I know for a fact that nothing he said changed my mind. Maybe it's not worth having the conversation because we're basically just "talking" to "hear" ourselves (typing to see ourselves, whatever).
- Don't Respond Because It Promotes More Bigotry- Responding to bigotry could give the person spewing it the motivation to spew some more. What might have been an otherwise silent, solitary opinion now has an outlet for further development.
- Respond Because, Hey, Maybe It Makes a Difference- Then again, people do change their points of view over time. Maybe these little conversations add up and make a difference.
- Respond Because It's Cathartic- Who cares if it makes a difference or not? His comments offended me, and it felt good to get my response off my chest whether it was heard or not.
- Respond Because Facebook is a Semi-Public Forum- So maybe I'm not going to change Guy I Don't Know's mind, but other people are reading this exchange, and maybe it makes a difference to someone else.
So how do you handle these kinds of conflicts? Is it worth responding? Do you make that decision on a case-by-case basis?