Listen. Pause. Think. Pause. Pause more. Respond.
Hot takes are not a good thing for online discourse. They’re occasionally funny, but they tend to kill thought as people start to one-up each other with more hot takes. Or, even worse, “takedowns” of what were obviously meant as hot takes.
Listen first. Or read. Ingest.
Pause to think about what you’ve just read or heard. Try to sort out where it might go in your existing knowledge. Does it fit? No? Why not?
Try to imagine why the other person might have written or communicated the thought or information. What was their angle? Are they selling something?
Are they understandably confused? Have they possibly been brainwashed by omnipresent propaganda? Have you?
Are they really literally Hitler?
Pause some more. Let it settle.
Were you actually doing something else when this thing just jumped to the top of your priority queue? Don’t let it. Regain control of your time.
Don’t let yourself be dragged into something that literally wasn’t even on your radar seconds ago and is now the most important thing you have to do.
Hell, go for a walk. Do something else. Let your brain work on it.
Honestly, the Internet can wait. It doesn’t need your brilliant riposte or takedown right now.
Maybe not ever.
Do you need to respond? Do you need to plant your personal flag on every issue you come across?