As the nation continues to grow more and more polarized, we find ourselves encountering worldviews diametrically opposed to our own day in and day out, especially on the internet.
How do we effectively engage with those viewpoints? We took a poll of all 7 billion people on the planet—not only the men, but the women and children, too—and ran their psychological profiles through a custom program we designed. Based on our findings, the seven steps below are the most effective way to get through to somebody with whom you disagree, and also to come away with a better understanding of others’ beliefs.
1.) Do background research on your opponents’ position by finding lots of memes that reinforce your worldview. Whatever you do, don’t do any actual research into what your opponent actually believes and why. This might humanize them. Instead, create a wild straw-man caricature of their beliefs by looking up a bunch of memes designed to make their worldview look stupid and your worldview look awesome.
2.) Set your Caps Lock key to ATTACK. Just as rebel pilots have to set their X-Wings’ s-foils into attack position, so you must set your Caps Lock key to the fully ON position before you can rationally present your viewpoint to your foes. GET TO IT SOLDIER!
3.) Start off by comparing them to mass murderers, preferably Hitler. This is a great way to get the conversation off on the right foot. Immediately suggest that their viewpoints make them on the same level as history’s worst villains. If you’re good with Photoshop, maybe whip up a quick image of them in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler mustache.
4.) Brutalize your opponent, then when they hit back, claim you’re a protected, marginalized class and therefore immune to criticism. Did your ancestors serve in the Peloponnesian War? Then call people who disagree with you out for attacking a veteran’s family. Are you 1/32 Native American? Play the race card. How dare those ingrates criticize the oppressed and marginalized!
5.) Hold your enemies to the most stringent moral standard while you yourself sling insults like a middle schooler. Comb through their tweets from 10 years ago and find something slightly off-color they said. Then call them on the carpet for it, notwithstanding the fact that you’ve done far worse yourself. You’re in the right here, so any impropriety on your part is justified.
6.) Keep in view your real goal: grandstanding to get lots of likes on your replies, not to seriously engage your ideological foes’ worldviews. It’s a successful argument if you get a few hundy likes on each of your replies. In fact, rather than replying directly to the person, quote their tweet and post your scathing reply to all your followers for more likes and shares.
7.) Finally, hit ’em with a condescending GIF. Post an animated image of a sarcastic Jennifer Lawrence or some excited youths freaking out and literally falling to the ground because someone got ethered. This is the ultimate fatality and proves that you won the argument. Now you can block the person and go on with your life, secure in the knowledge that you’ve absolutely brutalized them.