Alright, so here’s a bit about social media: It’s incredibly depressive. And I don’t mean how it’s changing the consumption of news. That’s a completely different topic. I am talking about – this time anyway – how frustrating it can be reading comments online.
I handle all social media at my place of employment, so every day when I go into work I have the privilege to read intelligent conversations about important issues of the day. I’m just kidding. Rarely are comments intelligent online. This has nothing to do with what side of the political spectrum you happen to fall on. When you are trying to have a conversation about gay marriage, raving lunatics will appear from the left and right and any hope of an intelligent dialoge disappears. And that’s too bad. There was a recent study conducted that came to the conclusion that negative comments have a habit of polarizing people by making the reader become more convinced in their own beliefs. It’s like backing a cat into a corner and telling the hissing animal it doesn’t like tuna. It knows damn well it likes tuna, and you better give him a treat for his trouble now.
I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before – the majority of people online have a vague idea what trolling is and that it’s a bad thing. Readers, unfortunately, have a habit of getting lost in their own passions and they miss the critical hints that they, too, have become trolls. Name calling, screaming in all caps… signs that you may have (pardon the cliche’) gone over to the darks side. The hypocrisy is outstanding. This was from a conservative poster about gay marriage, and speaking in all caps, the commenter claimed that gays were sent from the devil. He followed that by his second comment, posted not even a minute later: But you shouldn’t hate on other people.
Really now? Can we examine those two statements? That is not an intelligent response to a post on Facebook about gay marriage – whether you agree with the idea or not, saying gays were sent from the devil is not going to advance your argument. And by saying that, you are hating on a group of people.
There is hope. Once and a while there will be commenters who call out others on their bad behavior. It’s just too bad they are often called out on trying to be level-headed and logical.