One thing I’ll say for the secret to winning the Internet captured in that meme – “I assume that if someone disagrees with me it’s because they misunderstood me. If they understood me, how could they disagree?” – is that it avoids the need to argue over anything. I just assume that if anyone disagrees with my brilliance it’s because I’m misunderstood and leave it at that, moving on to another conversation. I’ll know the people in the next conversation understand me if they agree with me. If they don’t, then they are merely misunderstanding my brilliance too.
Of course, some on social media appear to think that any disagreement must be met with repeated efforts to convince the other person they’re wrong. And when I say repeated, I mean re-pea-ted. The phrase ad nauseum was made for situations like that.
I confess that I’ve ad nauseated plenty of people on the Internet.
So what are we to do? Paul gave some great Internet advice 2000 years before computers were invented.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. …
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. … Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:10, 14, 16-18.)
There it is: humility, gentleness and making the effort to bring peace to every Internet interaction. OK, so maybe that picture above doesn’t quite capture the secret to winning the Internet. But Paul sure did.