Sunday, 16 November 2008

Idiots on Comment Threads

I don't know why I do it. I really don't.

Sometimes, I read comment threads.

And then I get angry.

I really need to stop. Every time I read an article--be it on a news site, a blog, a Facebook group--I always see the end of the article, and then continue to scroll down into the blustering fen known as the comments section.

In some places the comments are pretty safe. You see '2 comments' or '4 comments' and you can be sure it's at least not apopolexy-inducing. But even though I see '64 comments,' and even though I KNOW this means that there are monkeys with keyboards drooling on the comments form, I have to keep reading. I so really want to know what people think. Unfortunately, I already know what people think, and all the comments section does is indicate how poorly and maliciously people express what (little) they think. Occasionally someone witty comes along and punches another commenter in the ego, but that's rare and maybe not so great after all.

Some things I've seen include comments spouting out ideological catch-phrases in ALL-CAPS, AS THOUGH THAT'S SOMEHOW WAY MORE CONVINCING THAN REGULAR TYPE (AND EASIER TO READ, TO BOOT). I've also seen two people--one from Norway, one from the Netherlands--comment on how happy they are with their free, tax-supported health care, only to be followed with an American saying that, having visited both Norway and Holland, she thinks all the left-wingers can go across the Atlantic while the real Americans live and die in freedom instead of turning into a bunch of immasculated neuters like the Europeans. Way to go, lady. Insult a) about half of your own country, b) the people who posted just above you, c) your Canadian neighbours, also health-care socialists, and d) every other socialist in the whole world, and not even make a legitimate point while you're at it. Why are people so mindlessly confrontational when they get this veneer of anonymity that is the Internet persona?

It seems as though about 10 points of your average person's IQ just disappears as soon as they get near a keyboard. Feel out of touch with your id? Then just log on, and your more animal nature will communicate with you by posting on comment boards on your behalf. Sure, the rest of the world gets to be insulted and enraged by your infantile opinions, but, hey, that let's them reconnect with their primitive self as well!

Obviously I get way too worked up about this, but I don't see how we can have much hope for the world while we still have the Internet (says he, the compulsive blogger).

OK, off to do work now.


Scumbag Sam said...

(ok... scared to comment now)...

But I agree, I particularily hate the old youtube comment morons. I.e

"First Comment"

or the all time classic

"Hey, check out my page/these naked girls/ my amazing ability to annoy you over the internet and be hated, even from thousands of miles away.."

Now I am paranoid that I fit into the catagory of annoying commenter, but I can't resist a good comment, I just try to be as gramatically correct as possible (which is hard for me..), and hope that other people recognise that I am not a monkey with a keyboard! :)

skatej said...

Completely understand. And then of course one of our Christian brothers/sisters has to come on and make an idiot of himself/herself, which further encourages the ideology of our faith being restricted to the uneducated and the insensitive. And after that, someone embittered to religion in general and most specifically Christianity uses it to further his point that religion is for losers.
The campaigner for right and truth in me wants to correct the factual, theological, scriptural, historical, etc. errors, but the realist in me knows it will be flapping my tiny wings against a hurricane of semi-literate, set-in-their-ways commenters.
What's worse is that we have no way of really truly knowing how old these posters are, so the person who wrote in all caps with a spelling error on every word may be a child or an adult. I don't even understand some of the posts. It just makes me so sad that I try not to read them anymore...worried about the inellectual state of my country. *sets off to build a bunker of intellectual freedom to ward off the oncoming stupidity*

The English Clergyman said...

Well, I figured it was unlikely I'd get more than 4 comments, so I did decide to point out that usually low numbers of posters is safe. It means that it's regulars commenting, and if it's a blog you follow, it's a safe bet that the commenters have good taste, at the very least.

And if the popularity of my blog up-swings wildly and I get a deluge of comments, rest assured, I won't think you're all simians (though statistically some are bound to be--and that's why I have comment moderation).

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