With all that is going on in the world right now, between Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s Marches, there has been a lot of activity on social media and comment threads around. Many of the threads with controversy have had strong feelings on each side (duh). Unfortunately, they seem to quickly devolve into shouting matches and unwarranted attacks. This is especially true of comment threads from news sources, but is even true with personal threads from some of my friends.
It is perfectly fine for people to disagree, but I think it is much more productive if they disagree face-to-face. As I posted about eleven months ago, from (ironically) a Facebook meme,
“Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate how you feel, and misinterpret what other people mean.”
The same thing applies to Internet comment threads. Though I sometimes read the comment threads when difficult questions are brought up from my friends, I rarely interact much with them.
Why? The reason is probably that the ad-hominems offend me even if the attacks aren’t against me. Yet, I don’t want to start defending others and become the target of an attack when I often would not have a productive comment to add.
Maybe I’m just not that cut out for difficult conversations online. I’d much rather have them face-to-face. The “anonymity” of the Internet seems to up peoples’ harshness versus what they might say to someone’s face. Even if the person’s avatar shows their face.
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