How Two Net Nemeses Became Close friends

Every single installment of “The Friendship Files” characteristics a dialogue concerning The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or additional friends, checking out the historical past and significance of their marriage.

This 7 days she talks with two former on the net adversaries who became friends. They fulfilled arguing in the remark area of a Facebook forum focused to advertising science, wherever every single believed the other was misguided. When they started off chatting privately, and finally fulfilled up in man or woman, they observed far more popular floor than they anticipated. They examine how they’ve shifted each individual other’s imagining and how they’ve designed a friendship based on discussion and—sometimes—agreeing to disagree.

The Mates:

Colleen Diessner, 40, a stormwater-management worker who lives in Seattle
Drey Pavlov, 39, a doctor who life in Seattle

This job interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Julie Beck: Explain to me how you first encountered just about every other.

Drey Pavlov: I applied to be really lively on various on the internet boards. I got into Reddit, Facebook. If you know that XKCD comic where by there’s the dude on the laptop and his wife is stating, “Honey, occur to bed,” and he suggests, “But somebody’s improper on the internet”—that was me.

Individuals think naturally erroneous matters, and I couldn’t fully grasp why. I was viewing a whole lot of terrible science and a ton of bullshit pretending to be science, and I was preventing towards that.

By the time Colleen and I interacted in a science Fb group, I was on the downslope of my keyboard-warrior period and was commencing to come to feel quite jaded. She achieved me when I experienced great arguments but a undesirable mind-set. At initially, I assume she imagined I was just an asshole. I was very blunt. Not derogatory or anything at all, but I would say, “No, you do not understand this thought correctly.” She began interacting with me and stating, “I imagine you are improper about this.”

Colleen Diessner: As a response to the proliferation of misinformation coming out of the 2016 election, I sincerely considered I could assist by furnishing additional data. But in that particular discussion board wherever we fulfilled, the politics received out. I did not come to feel like I was declaring anything controversial at all, but they were being creating genuinely disgusting comments. It is grow to be pretty harmful, so we the two disengaged.

I have been a vaccine advocate for quite a few years. Then there was a measles outbreak in southern Washington. I joined a group of folks who ended up attempting to distribute science-based information and facts about vaccine protection. That subject matter blew up in the forum.

Courtesy of Colleen Diessner

Beck: What ended up your impressions of each other when you had been interacting in the forum?

Drey: She seemed