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Internet arguments and misunderstandings: Productive, or a waste of time?

When you read through conversations on this and other sites, you can't help but notice some individuals who always enter into disagreements with others time and again.

How important is debating, or arguing online?

How far should you go to get your point across?

Is it even worth it to try to convince a stranger that your way is correct?

Here is a cartoon I ran across:

http://www.shoeboxblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/arguing-internet.jpg

What do you think? Feel free to share any experiences you have had, and how you handled them.

I am not much of a debater, but I am very interested in understanding why people time and again get involved in arguments with others.

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Closing Statement from W T

Online debates......productive.....when everyone shows respect for the other's ideas, and conversation takes place in an orderly way...it's ok to disagree.

Online arguments......waste of time......proceed with caution.

I thought perhaps some kind of debate would break out about debates.....but nothing of the sort....everyone's contributions made this conversation a very enjoyable one.

Wonderful links, and book titles were provided.

Thank you to all who participated!!!!

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    May 23 2013: Despite huge presence of troll on internet forums, I've visited very nice websites.

    TED is a perfect example in my case. I've learnt a lot of things here. Read a lot of opinions, although I may not agree with some but I've always felt "respected" here.

    More importantly, Internet is only place where no one can censor you- it is a double-sided sword but I believe on right channels there usually are nice people :)
    • W T 100+

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      May 24 2013: Thank you Kareem.

      I think your words reflect what many on TED feel.

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