Fearless Comment Warriors!

What do we know about “Social Media Comments”?

1. They can be entertaining.
2. Quite often the comments become a bigger show than the article or post that spawned them.
3. Correct usage of grammar or spelling isn’t mandatory.
4. There is a special type of self-appointed “Internet Language Police” that carefully monitors the above.
5. Comments don’t need to have relevance to the actual topic.
6. Decimating and belittling opponents is a main feature of the comments-section.
7. Comments often reveal who the village idiots are.
8. The act of commenting can turn clever and kind people into village idiots. The lure of anonymity can turn anyone into a chest-pounding gorilla who will do anything to get a point across.
9. Facts don’t count.
10. Well-thought-out and logically structured comments might be rewarded with many like and loves.
11. If a well-thought-out comment offends a village idiot it will spark a deluge of sub-comments effectively negating anything positive or constructive in the original comment.
12. Comments do exact a toll on whoever participates. It uses energy you could’ve spent elsewhere.
13. You can’t “win” an online argument.
14. Comments are not automatically equal to “constructive criticism”.
15. The village idiots will turn valid constructive criticism into a fight.
16. Social Media encourages comments for various reasons. The village idiot has a safe haven within which to flourish.
What did I leave out?

On a practical level, how do you manage your commenting-skills?

I often type something in Notepad and then leave it to simmer for a while.
More often than not I end up not posting anything.
Many online “arguments” start becoming insignificant when you’ve had time to rethink it away from your keyboard.
When in doubt… Just resist the urge to comment.
Follow your gut.
Comment like a human being whenever someone asks you to give an opinion.
Save the acidic repartee for people you really know well.
“Village idiot” … keep that phrase in the back of your head. You might be the next one.
I’ve been that guy way too often.

I miss the days of the “Offline Village Idiot”
The threat of a real-life slap in the face kept a lot of insipid and unnecessary opinions in check.

(Picture and words by me)