Listicles · Self-love · Social media

4 Ways To Keep Your Cool As An Opinionated Person On Social Media

7 wooden spoons in front of a black background. Each spoon has a social media handle on it placed on powder matching the handle's dominant colour. A spoon with red powder has the Pintrest logo placed on it, another with orange power for RSS, yellow for Snapchat, green for Vine, light blue for Twitter, dark blue for Facebook, and purple for Instagram

For many of us, social media isn’t just used to connect with friends and colleagues across the globe, it’s also our platform of choice when we want to make ourselves heard. While it can be good to express ourselves and hear from people who think differently, sometimes it can get a bit heated. So from one opinionated person to another, here are some tips to make for smoother, less temperamental sailing on the interwebs:

1. Think before you speak — really

Being behind a screen means that you can actually buy yourself time to carefully think about what you want to say! This means that you have more of an opportunity to think of how you can communicate your message in the best tone and style possible. You also have more time to understand what someone actually means to say.

Not only are you then more likely to express yourself clearly, but you’ll also have time to cool off if someone writes something that really bugs you. This means that you will minimise the chance that you will say something you will regret, and that’s good because you probably don’t want to write paragraphs apologising for going on a rampage and/or explaining how you were misunderstood. Which brings me to the next point…

2. Be clear

Dr Suess made a good point when he said “say what you mean, and mean what you say,” and it’s totally relevant for social media, and the internet in general. It’s hard as it is always nailing what people mean when they speak to us face to face, let alone with the added difficulty of not being able to rely on physical cues or tone of voice.

Although we cannot always avoid misunderstanding — and as a result, conflict — we can do our part by wording our messages as clearly as we can to minimise the chances of any of those things happening.

3. Avoid subtweeting, subposting or subanything-ing

Subtweeting, or subposting in any other social media platform, is the act of posting something (usually negative) alluding to a particular person, but without mentioning their name. Don’t do it, and don’t engage when someone else does.

Not only does it look juvenile and petty, but it doesn’t solve the problem you have with the person. Trust me on this one. All you will probably accomplish is attracting a gaggle of negative comments that fuel the frustration you are already feeling. It’s wasted energy that comes at the expense of your inner peace; and nothing is worth that, even if you have a point.

4. Walk away

You can’t control or change what everyone is saying or doing, but you can control how much you let it affect you. Not only are you free to decide what you want to engage with, but also how much you engage with it. Just because there’s an impassioned debate about something you care or know a lot about, it doesn’t mean you need to stay in it until it ends with your word.

It’s also perfectly okay to decide what you don’t want to see at all in the first place, and hide content you find inflammatory or even distressing. You are also well within your rights to mute/unfollow the well-meaning relative/friend who insists on posting misinformation to show “an alternative point of view”. People will believe and think what they want, and your self-care comes first.

What tips do you have for more AND less opinionated people on social media? Share them in the comments!

 

 

Photo credit: Visual Content Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license) https://howtostartablogonline.net

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22 thoughts on “4 Ways To Keep Your Cool As An Opinionated Person On Social Media

  1. I like how you addressed this issue! Sometimes online we can forget that there’s another actual person you are talking to. With the barrier of a screen, people can often type things they’d never say I person. But I think of the the ways we can cool off is to remember that this person you’re talking to online is just another human being. And whatever you say is something you’ll be accountable for!
    It’s normal to be in a heated exchange once in a while, even in real life. But there’s always a wisdom to it all. Is it wise to say this or that at this time?
    Another cool thing that you can do much easier online is to shift your attention to something else pronto!

    1. I agree and I actually like your suggestion to shift attention elsewhere, it isn’t something I have ever thought of before! Will definitely take it on board. Barak Allaah feeki for commenting!

  2. Thank you for sharing such an informative article. One thing I observe that on social media we cannot explain our words freely. Because there is a Body language and how the person is expressive. Our Prophet may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him used to talk face to face, like if one person is behind Him. He turns his face towards him and then talk. Secondly, He repeats His words three times so that the other person does not get any confusion regarding his speech. And obviously He was eloquent in His Speech. May Allah guide us and forgive us for our mistakes. Aameen.

    1. You’re welcome! I am glad you found it to be beneficial. This is so interesting, I never actually knew this about narrations from our Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, where did you learn about this?

      1. بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
        There are two narrations, read them below.
        Abu Hurayra said, “When he faced someone, he faced him completely. When he turned away, he turned away completely. I have never seen anyone like him and I will never see anyone like them.”
        Sahih Albani
        Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 255 (http://sunnah.com/adab/12/18)
        ___________________________________________
        ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his grandfather that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you about who among you I love the most and the one who will be seated closest to me on the Day of Rising?” The people were silent, so he repeated that two or three times. Then the people said, “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “The one among you with the best character.”
        Sahih Albani
        Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 272 (https://sunnah.com/urn/2202720)
        May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and accept the good from us. Aameen.

  3. As a very opinionated person I often have social media conflicts. Lol. These tips are really very helpful. I have learnt that when things get heated number 4 is really the best, just walk away and choose not to go back to look at the post and comments. #MuslimahBloggers

    1. Same here sis! Number 4 is the least emotionally taxing, so that way it’s great! LOL! I am glad you found it beneficial, and barak Allaah feeki for reading it!

  4. You have nicely presented the solution for opinionated people like me 😀
    Thank you. I totally agree with each and every thing you have stated.
    I personally read a comment at least 2 to 3 times, even more especially if it makes me angry even a bit, before responding. I some times even consult with my husband before responding because he gives me kinda “calm” perspective of the situation. Same is for my comments, during heated chats I read my comment so many times before posting – that really helps alhamdulillah.
    But yes, we all have our weak and super heated moments – which we simply regret at the end of the day.
    May ALLAH help all of us (aameen).
    One thing that really bothers me is people some times take comments on social media VERY LIGHTLY just because they can be deleted afterwards. People need to realize that while the comments can be deleted the affect of those cannot be. This realization really needs to make its way to people’s mind & heart.

    1. Barak Allaah feeki for reading this and sharing your thoughts with me! I think it’s a great idea to do as you suggest, to read things a couple of times or more before responding to gain composure and proper perspective. I also like the idea of consulting a third party, because it can give you an alternative, and perhaps less angering way to think of the situation. I also thoroughly agree that we really do need to remember that were talking to other human beings with feelings — not human-shaped opinions. I struggle with remembering that when I am “feeling the heat”. Great tips! Jazak Illaah khair.

  5. Great tips Masha Allah – it’s natural to e. Thanks to easy access to the Internet via mobile devices and apps.

    Alhamdulillah – i do not get myself into heated debates online because I feel it’s not worth it and I just hardly have the time/ energy to engage in such conversations. I spend limited time on social media – so it’s always for business, beneficial group interactions, responding to messages etc etc. I also chose to unfollow, block, mute or stay away from toxic people/ worthless groups as I would offline. So for me, your last tip is my favourite – walk away.

  6. Great tips Masha Allah – it’s natural to repond super quickly to posts on social media nowadays without thinking about the effects our words and resulting consequence afterwards. Thanks to easy access to the Internet via mobile devices and apps.

    Alhamdulillah – i do not get myself into heated debates online because I feel it’s not worth it and I just hardly have the time/ energy to engage in such conversations. I spend limited time on social media to begin with – so it’s always for business, beneficial group interactions, responding to messages etc. I also chose to unfollow, block, mute or stay away from toxic people/ worthless groups as I would offline. So for me, your last tip is my favourite – walk away.

    Also, one of my life principles is to speak what is good or keep silent ( based on a profound Hadith, so I take this online with me. Most times silence takes the upper hand. May Allah guide us all.

    1. Barak Allaah feeki for your input ❤ it is a great strategy to do what you have suggested in deciding what is important, filtering out the toxic stuff, and remembering the words of our Prophet Salla Allaah alayhi wa Sallam when it comes to interacting with people. Excellent three-step plan, barak Allaah feeki! And even though I do like to say my piece, I can definitely still apply it.

    1. Barak Allaah feeki for reading this, I am glad you found it useful! Oh Sainab, you will not be able to imagine how much unfollowing has made my life easier. Alhamdu lIllaah!

  7. This is a fantastic post mashaa Allah – and much needed in our current climate! You are so right with every point, but I 100% agree with number 4. There have been many times when I’ve began to type a heated reply to one of the numerous ignorant trolls out there, but have stopped typing and instead just closed the screen. Anger isn’t healthy, and the debate just isn’t worth it. There are much more positive ways to get out point across alhamdulillah 🙂

    1. Barak Allaah feeki for reading this ❤ I am glad you’re on board with what I said and actually find it useful!
      You know Carla, I read something the other day along the lines of “you are only responsible for yourself ” in the sense that we’re responsible for our own intellects, perceptions, actions etc. We are not obliged to make people see our way, no matter how right it actually is. People have the ability to inform themselves and seek true information, and we need to leave people alone to do that. We CAN go home and relax after making our points in a polite, anger-free way!

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