It is a challenge to consider all the possible ways that people might react to what you have written. I have had people email me back with such nice notes. I have had people tell me that everything I have written is entirely wrong. Either way, I at least like to know that people are reacting to what I have written. If I had triggered something in a comfortable or uncomfortable way, that is good for me. That means I have actually done my job.
I don’t know that it is the job of the writer to simply reinforce what people already believe. I think that creators ought to be somewhat provocative. I don’t mean that in kind of the click bait way that has become so popular on the Internet. I don’t mean just saying dumb things just to get a rise out of people. That is useless and really not worth anything.
When I talk about the writer being provocative, I mean that it ought to be thought-provoking. It ought to put forth a case, defend it and invite a response.
You know that abortion is a very popular topic for me. I talk about it rather frequently, and it is something I’m passionate about. However, I realize there are two sides to that issue. I try my best to present the one I believe in, but I realize that there are plenty of people in the world to hold the contrary position. When they respond to me and debate what I said, I actually really enjoy that. It is not that I love conflict, but I love the exchange of ideas. If I have presented my case well enough that they feel they have to respond to what I said, I think I have done my job.
I don’t know if other people are like me. Maybe no one is like me. However, I might read something ridiculous on Facebook. You may have shared something that is utterly ignorant. I’m not going to bother responding to that. I figure that if you share that meme that was so dumb, nothing I could say will change your bias in the first place.
However, if you share something intelligent and thought-provoking, I am more likely to respond to it. That being said, I really do not debate very much on Facebook, but if I do respond, it is largely going to be to a critique that I feel needs to be addressed because it is actually worthwhile. If you present a pro-choice argument that it actually strong, I am going to feel more obligated to respond to it specifically because of its strengths. If I think it is strong and I don’t want people to come to your perspective, then I feel like I should respond.
That is a worthwhile article, and you have provoked me to respond. That is what I hope I do whenever I write. I don’t know that I always do, but that is my endeavor. I want to make you think and feel compelled to respond in order to counter what I hope are decent arguments.