Differences of opinion

Published June 8, 2006

Since the world and his wife started blogging, comments have become a very popular thing. Everyone wants more and more comments, recognition of the writing and opinions, and generally, nice compliments and that feeling that you are not alone in this crazy world.

You would think that commenting should be a good, positive thing.  A forum to share opinions, discuss important issues and find out what other people think about the things you think about.

Then all the hate started. Blogger after blogger switched off their comments, because everything they said offended someone and the hate mail they got for their posts wasn’t worth the nice things some people said.

Thankfully, I’ve not really experienced any of this ‘Internet Hate’ because not that many people read my site, and I tend to stay away from the big subjects. However, I have commented on some websites and caused a bit of a kerfuffle.

Most recently someone referenced the News Of The World and made a point of ‘has anyone ever even heard of this newspaper’? So, I commented and pointed out that there is a big world out there outside of the US and that the majority of UK readers would know what the News Of The World was.

Oh my god. The backlash. I have to admit that my comment was maybe a little bit grumpy, but I really didn’t expect the harsh words I got back. Apparently I have to get over myself and not take things so seriously, not get offended at stupid stuff like this, don’t I know there are wars on, and they were just saying how unreliable it was a source. (Why reference it then?)

This isn’t the first time that a generally harmless comment has been taken out of all proportion and started a riot. It seems to me that a lot of people are hyper sensitive about this whole internet land and think that everything is going to be a hurtful comment. They don’t read with an open mind anymore, and are on high alert to whip back with a cutting remark to prove that “Hey, you don’t bother me, your comment is stupid and wrong, and you should get a life.”

The comment I posted after the event, to try and make amends, really sums up what I think of the whole thing: “I wasn’t offended and I didn’t mean to cause offence. I thought the comments section was for offering a comment, which I did. Sorry to upset you all. I shall keep my thoughts to myself in the future. Keep up the good work.”

Remind me to knock that site off my Must Comment Monday list!!

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