Tackling Un-Social Media

This post first appeared in Regrow Qld in July 2022

Folks, there’s a lot of truth in the old joke: “I thought I was wrong once… but I was mistaken.”

The real joke is, we’re all guilty of thinking this way.

But where it really stands out is on social media, where plenty of people are posting misinformation, usually unknowingly, or in some cases, quite deliberately.

Yet, when you point out an inconsistency, they’ll dig in and refuse to budge from their position. 

Facts are usually ignored, information, data, research, evidence or statistics which don’t suit their narrative, or agenda, is quickly (and loudly) called out as biased, fake, unethical, part of a conspiracy or labelled stupid, expensive or unworkable.

It makes reading the comments of any climate change, renewables or environmental posts a rather frustrating and/or depressing affair.

Who needs that sort of negativity?  Well, apart from online masochists.

So, what to do when you come across a biased, incorrect, or paid post rubbishing renewables, or promoting fossil fuels, from a mate, or family member?

Well, the first thing I usually do is see how many Likes and Comments the post has.  Often, the number will be in single figures, so the post will quickly vanish off social media’s radar faster than a bottom burp in a high wind.

Resist the urge to click any of the negative emoticons (obviously you’re not going to click ‘Like’), as this only feeds the algorithms which will automatically keep promoting that post for more clicks.

Also folks, I can’t stress this enough, DON’T COMMENT! 

Honestly, you  won’t change their minds any more than they’ll change yours. 

If you really want to make a difference, simply ignore the Fossil Fools online rants.  The war is over, and they’ve lost; rubbing their faces in it isn’t very nice.

Instead, be the optimistic voice of change. 

We here at Renew Queensland, are big on accentuating the positives.  Which kind of stands out like a sunlit, grassy island in the foetid swamp of social media. 

We’re not sitting out our keyboards all day in a state of perpetual outrage, we prefer to do ‘actual stuff’ and are currently beavering away on several projects which are  making a very real, and positive, impact in our communities.

Editor’s note: Our projects include education about renewable energy, community air monitoring, deploying wildlife cameras, starting a community native plant nursery and writing this newsletter every week.

That’s encouraging news worth sharing!  

In fact, there’s a lot of good news out there.  Find it, celebrate it, share it!

But, if you still have a lingering itch to combat social media trolls then I strongly urge you to remember the following (which our esteemed Editor shared with me) before clicking ‘Send’: 

“Arguing with people on social media is like trying to play chess with a pigeon; eventually they’ll knock over all the pieces and crap on the board.”

I reckon she’s not wrong!

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