Don't feel bad if you can't seem to quit Facebook, even though the Happiness Research Institute says you'd be happier if you did. This rings especially true if you're, say, obsessively stalking an ex down to what pages and comments under someone's photo they're liking, though Facebook's come up with a solution for that as well, sort of. Facebook, cyberland of depression, is also an argumentative one and the researchers at Cornell University have come up with the perfect plan to win an argument, online or IRL.
Researchers at Cornell University have done necessary work analyzing via a study what it takes to successfully win an argument. The research, which looked at 18,000 threads submitted to the subreddit r/changemyview in two-and-a-half years, will be presented at April's International World Wide Web Conference, reports the Washington Post. As the name suggests the subreddit involves users submitting their views, explaining them, and asking people to change them. Recent change my view threads include "From what we know of "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice", Bruce Wayne's position on Superman is completely justifiable" to the more heavy-handed and completely topical "I believe that the BLM and "racism" is a cop out for the lack of self accountability." The original poster responds with a delta symbol, the mathematical symbol for change as the Washington Post writes, only if their view has been changed.
An author of the study and a PhD candidate in computer science, Chenhao Tan assures the study can be applied to all arguments. You’ll find you already know some of the steps if you've ever been forced to write a persuasive essay.
Here are the "major keys" to winning a Facebook argument:
- Reply to the argument as soon as possible and when you do don't be afraid to go back and forth with someone, but researchers advise you not to go over three or four exchanges.
- Call for backup! Your argument is made stronger when others agree with you. As the saying goes, there's power in numbers.
- Like any good research paper you'll need to provide evidence for your argument while remembering to keep your emotions out of it or you'll lose the person.
- Don't get petty and correct a person's spelling error or quote what they just said back at them.
- Write a lengthy argument with substance without sacrificing quality for quantity.
- Bring up other points to the argument the original poster didn’t cover.