Are you sick of arguing? It’s OK, I know I am. And yet every now and then, I let myself forget my rule – never argue on the internet, doofus – and I let go of one. Not long ago, it was about baseball, which makes me feel like even more of a nincompoop.
I mean, what am I, 12? But some dude in a Facebook group had some point straight out of the Snide Northerners Handbook about how South Florida can’t support baseball and it’s all a bunch of transplants anyway and yadda yadda yadda. Reader, I’m not proud. But I got snippy with him on Facebook.
And that’s just baseball. There is, you may have heard, a thing or two happening in the country and the world that has people somewhat exercised. Now, let me be clear. I’m not advocating against paying attention. I’m not saying not to vote. I don’t think we should stop caring about the issues we see as vital.
I am saying that yelling at people on social media should not be confused with actually doing anything. When I indulge in that, the person it changes the most is me – and not for the better.
This issue is our annual Best Of issue, and I hope you find a lot in it that you disagree with. Not because I’m a contrarian and I like to annoy you, but because disagreeing with a magazine’s readers about a Best Of vote is a low-stakes form of argument that should allow us to have some fun. Who makes Fort Lauderdale’s best chicken wings? Who’s the best local TV weather person? If you go to one dog groomer in this town, who should it be? Those are fun debates that, unless there’s a vicious doggrooming battle going on in Fort Lauderdale that I don’t know about, aren’t going to make too many people insult you on the internet.
If we’re paying attention to the world, sometimes we’re going to be angry. That’s OK. It’s the price of citizenship. But it’s also OK to practice self care, and to understand the difference between being engaged and simply being enraged. Telling Terry from Lakeland that he’s an idiot for liking a different quarterback/reality TV star/politician than you is not doing much to change the world, but it is doing something to change your stress levels.
So please, enjoy this exercise in (hopefully) rage-free disagreement. And if you disagree with some choices, feel free to vote next year. It certainly won’t be the most important vote you participate in.
And you know what? That’s kind of the point.