ONE of the biggest misconceptions about social media is this: “The internet is a free space and I am entitled to my opinion.” With this in mind, some people, whether they think they’re right or wrong, go ahead and sometimes share highly divisive content or just straight up pick fights on the internet.

In line with National Heroes Day (Aug. 31), here are five easy ways to help keep the peace, silence the baddies and spread the love on social media.

Educate yourself

One quote, attributed to one great philosopher of old, goes something like this: “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” It’s true. Some of the smarter ones hold their words a little while longer since the truth they know about a particular subject seems to constantly shift and shape itself through time. Learn more about a particular issue before trying to influence others to share your view on it.

Report fake news

To be able to report fake news, one must be able to recognize it first. Presuming you’ve already done your homework and you’re quite confident you can smell the rotten headline a full scroll away, go ahead and click that report button. Then you’ve simply done your part as a simple, truth-loving, online citizen. Of course, in the name of humor and fun, we can be softer on satire pieces and memes.

Pick someone your own size

This age-old piece of advice against bullies can’t be any more apt today. It is annoying when “educated” people pick on the “less-educated” online. The latter make it worse, adding fuel to the fire by responding with all the wrong rebuttals from A to Z. If you think your calling is to be on the offensive, go ahead, and debate with someone who is rather more or less on your same level of intellect. As the kids say: Don’t dish it if you can’t take it.

The power of flight

Sometimes, the choice of “flight” makes more sense than choosing “fight.” Instead of fixating on issues that would make you want to roll up your spellcheck sleeves and engage in a forum fistfight, maybe it’s better sometimes to just fly away if it’s not worth your time and effort. Sometimes, that one paragraph counter-argument we come up with takes up 30 minutes of our time to compose. Choose to fly.


It is not until the point when heroes die when something bigger than themselves is born. While the act of heroism is a catalyst to genuine change, it is generally sparked by death. In the case of social media and interacting with people online, and in this day and age when people are in love with the idea of love winning, the power of turning the other cheek is a real game changer. Love is the endgame.