I was up to over 4 facebook posts a day last year. I’ve been cutting back, sometimes even skipping a day. That, and sometimes long conversations, similar to what you see me doing here. My favorite page is “Pot Smoking Atheists who Love Cats”. Politics is discouraged on that one. I’m not a current smoker, but I hope the laws catch up with my needs pretty soon.
I also have a friend of a friend with a page called “Values, Virtues and Vision”. He is a musician and has written a couple books, very simple stuff, and he thinks he has the world figured out. He writes long tirades against Trump and calls all 60 million of his voters unpatriotic and unthinking. I’ve called him on it a couple times and he just turns his vitriol on me. I asked him to get together for lunch, he said yes, but didn’t follow up. I know, based on solid data, that he would be a different person face to face. That is the problem with facebook. People feel like they are being themselves, but they are not who they are in person.
I just heard of a study where business owners were asked if they would serve a Chinese person. The study was from 1932. Many said no. So, the Chinese sociologist went to their business with his wife, and about half the time they treated him well. I think that disparity would be higher today. There social cred for saying you are prejudice, and it’s easy to say something about a nameless, faceless person from some other group. But in actual practice, it’s not how most people act.
Anyway, my advice for facebook, use the time factor. You are not required to respond immediately, so don’t. Write carefully, ask value questions, find agreement, remove insults. Be the absolute best person you can be, because it will only come across as civil at best. No matter how nice or fair you think you are being, it is likely it won’t look that way to others. They will add whatever facial expressions and snippy tone of voice they want.