Have you ever wanted to explain yourself more to people online or to understand their perspectives better? It is worth asking how our conversations and interactions contribute to healthy engagement with others. Treating others with dignity and consideration fosters the democratic values of equality, justice for all, and commitment to the common good.

In online communities, consideration and understanding can easily become derailed by anonymous comments and heated exchanges. Even if you disagree with someone, ask more questions about their life story or what influences their beliefs. Find out what you have in common and build mutuality, not difference. This approach can change the trajectory of a conversation. On a larger scale, it encourages dialogue in our democracy.

Kristin Ritzau in Practicing Democracy Online