I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Are Online Commentators Really Looking for Enlightenment? I Don't Think So.

My apologies to those of you looking for regular postings on this blog. I want to post regularly but sometimes my health interferes. I now have several chronic conditions that interfere with my good intentions.

My beef today stems from a recent experience online. I occasionally post comments on newspaper articles. Sometimes I even read those posted by others. I'm reconsidering doing this in the future. Here's why:

Once I've stated my views on something I see no reason to repeat myself. I suspect many writers simply rework old ideas over and over. I won't argue with this strategy. However, my intent in writing is to formulate and focus my ideas. Writing is for me, not others although I'm delighted if I actually help someone else.

So, with this in mind, when I happened onto a news article that covered a topic I had dealt with generously in this blog, I simply referred others here and didn't bother to rehash my arguments in 200 words or less.

Something curious happened.

People started attacking me, viciously. Okay, that isn't curious, it is normal for anything online these days. What bothered me most about their comments wasn't so much the venom but the ignorance. I had completely answered their points in my series of blog postings. In fact, I could tell none of them had read my work. I reviewed my blog statistics which confirmed my suspicions.

No one had actually accessed my blog.

After a short time I posted another comment on the news article pointing this fact out. The venom against me surged again. This time, there were about three views of one of my numerous blog postings. Alas, all the others remained unread. I continued to monitor my blog traffic. Nothing changed. There were a handful of future views, about five total. The numbers didn't reach the number of people analyzing me in the news article's comment forum. They weren't even close.

What conclusions should I draw from this experience?

I have decided on the following:

1. I won't waste my time commenting on articles anymore.

2. It is unlikely that any of these people are actually looking for enlightenment on the topic. There is no point in my wasting my time on them.

3. The people who spew the most venom remain anonymous. I never am. I always use my name.

If you have already learned these lessons, my congratulations. I keep learning them. There is always a faint hope in me that human nature may actually improve, however unlikely.

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