Cut the online drama, address how we resolve conflict with one another

Feb. 15, 2016

Alexander Nedd
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Snapchat. Facebook. Instagram. These are the social media influencers that rule our generation with relative ease. An open window into the lives of our friends is simply a click away. Unfortunately, so is the drama.

I’m not immune to this syndrome. I’ve had my fair share of blowups with close friends and even talked back against perfect strangers who, for whatever reason, have crossed my path in a manner that I didn’t like.

If there is one dire condition we all share, it’s the fact that we are human. But there is always a right way and a wrong way to deal with conflict.

Sadly, our generation often chooses the latter.

The other day I received a screenshot of a virtual fight that took place between a pair of two ex-friends.

The argument moved onto a social media platform, drawing in hundreds of users to witness a relationship crumble into a pile of twitter mentions and clickable likes.

Is this what fighting has come down to in the 21st century? Are we still in high school?

Fighting happens. Maybe you and a roommate don’t always get along. Your boss wasn’t impressed with a project you worked months on to prepare. Your sister took your favorite toy when you were six and you haven’t had the nerve to say something about it yet.

Conflict is a part of life.

“Fighting with friends is something that is normal but how we deal with it is quickly getting out of hand,” said freshman communication major Chris Barr.

“We used to maybe not speak with one another or maybe just tell your (close) friends. Now it’s like a daily thing to see Facebook friends or strangers fighting with one another.”

Not all fights are physical, but they nonetheless can leave deep wounds within. It’s time we address how we fight, and more importantly, how we resolve struggles with one another.

Fighting behind a screen allows no real time for closure and can sideline the fight to be dealt with later on. Sharing posts on social media and talking with your friends negatively about a situation also adds unnecessary drama.

Saving screenshots and texting your friends behind a person’s back because of an argument is not the proper way to address a conflict.

Neither is sharing a post on your social media wall for everyone to see.

Conflict needs to be resolved face-to-face. I know, it’s a foreign concept, but that’s how your parents dealt with fights. Why have we put aside the element of human interaction?

Yes, it’s uncomfortable. No one actively looks to put themselves in an awkward position with a friend or a loved one. It’s only natural that we try to resolve issues in a way that seems easy, but this can hurt us in the long run.

“I definitely think it’s best to talk with one another and not let it build up inside,” said Cody Odden, a sophomore studying biology. “It’s easy to talk to other friends but sometimes it leads to gossip and you can end up making the situation worse.”

“Have a close friend mediate if you’re afraid emotions will get high,” Odden added.

These examples assume the relationship will continue, but sometimes that is not the case.

Relationships break, and not always on good terms. While it’s OK to vent feelings and be upset, it’s time we cut the social media drama out of the process.

Talk to one another. Learn from one another.