Monday, June 21, 2010

Popular Comment Threads

If you can stand it, browse a comment thread from a high-circulation source, like USAToday or Time. An overwhelming majority of the comments do not fully relate to the specific topic, but merely riff on the general topic. These comments are knee-jerk reflexive, just a pathetic announcement of the person's single thought on the subject. If Obama is mentioned, fifty people have to jump in and tell you he's a communist. If Christianity is mentioned, fifty have to announce that all religions are stupid, while fifty more explain the Bible to you. Divorce, abortion, elementary education, psychology - there are apparently a lot of folks with one preloaded comment that they just have to share with the world. As I have mentioned a few times in other posts recently, they just feel they should have something to say, to show they're paying attention, or care, or whatever.

I wonder what they think they are accomplishing. If they were making some new comment, or attempting a precise argument, I can see why the wide circulation would be a draw. But this seldom occurs. People make the most predictable assertions, with no supporting evidence. They simply announce what they believe, and what they think everyone else should hear. As if, somehow, we missed it the first thousand times we heard it in our lifetimes.

I try to imagine what is going through their minds when they type these things.

4 comments:

Gringo said...

Commenters here do not riff on the generaltopic?

Jonathan said...

Yeah, that Obama sure is a communist and all religions suck.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, gringo, you're right. I think "riff" was an overkind description, implying some jazz improv. These people disgorge.

Sam L. said...

It's a waste of your time trying to imagine what goes on in their minds. It's just an on-off switch.

Mine is now set to OFF.