Before the era of the internet people argued at dinner parties. They argued at work and they argued while they were getting ready for bed. And while someone could shout after you as you walked away, you could pretty easily avoid debate just by being alone.
Today, we’re connected to argument at all times. Smartphones, television, and better modes of transportation put us in touch with people outside our immediate circles more than ever before. These advancements expose us to worldviews, cultures and opinions that are vastly different from our own. And that’s a good thing. The more we learn about other people–even if it’s only to discover we don’t understand them–the more we grow as individuals.
But this constant connectivity can be exhausting. No matter what your opinion, no matter how trivial the topic at hand may seem, there’s almost always going to be a dissenter in the crowd, grumping from his or her armchair.
Argument is a valuable tool, but it’s OK to take a break from debate. Turn off your notifications. Don’t respond to every reply. Disallow comments. Save your energy for the arguments that really matter.