A Few Basic Thoughts on Successful Internet Commenting – The Awl

Fromtimetotime,evenourspectacularlyintelligent,thoughtfulandhilariouscommentingcommunityrunsintoaspotoftrouble。

That’sokay!

Ithappens?

—?

prettymucheveryfourmonthsorso,somethinghereprovokesheatedfeelingsandwords。

(Andoftenthat’sagoodthing,intheend。

Sometimes,lessso,sure。

)Butingeneral,thingsaresorelativelywell-oiledhere(sorry,thatsoundsgross?

)thatwhenthere’ssomeconflict,it’ssurprisingandevenupsetting!

Upsettingtothefeeeeeeelings。

Sosomegeneralthoughtsoncommentingandonhowthingswork?

—?

here,at?

least。



Name-callingreallynevergoesanywheregood,anywhereintheworld。

Hey,you?

Don’tbecallingpeoplenames。

Thusconcludesthelatestrepetitionofthatthingyou’vebeentoldsincekindergarten,yousillyname-caller。

PicturememakingmyCoachTaylorangry-disappointedfaceatyouwhenyou’recallingsomeone?

names。



Youareresponsibleforyourself,whichisthegreatestfreedomofall。

(USA!

USA!

)Thatmeansthattheeditorsofthissitewillnotbecomingtogiveyouastarfortheday(seeagain:kindergarten),orgivingyoua“time-out,”orwhathaveyou。

You’renoteightyearsold!

ThereasonIactuallylikecommentersisthatthey’regrown,thinking,playfuladults,doingtheirownthing,withdiverseopinionsandbackgroundsandthereforesomethingtobringtothetable。

Soyouaregrownupenoughtoownyourbehaviorandtreatpeople(atleastprettymuch)thewayyou’dwanttobetreated。

Thatiswhywehaveasuccessfulcommentingcommunityofsmarties:becauseyougettoactinthewayyouseefit,andit’snotbecausesomeone’spattingyouontheheadlikeyouwereaparticularlysmartgoldenlab(whichistosay,notthatsmart,becauseman,Ihadtofendoffalabtheotherdaythatwastryingtogetthroughmetokillitsreflectioninthemirror,itwasnotveryimpressive)。



Peoplecaneasilymistakeyourvehemenceforrage,insanityorrudeness,andtheywilltreatyouaccordingly。

(Thisissomethingthathappenstomequiteabit,asIoftengetveryworkedup!

So,youknow,I’vebeenthere!

Regularly。

)



Peoplecaneasilymistakeyoursarcasmforassholism,ifyou’renotcareful。

(Andit’snot,weknowthat:welovesarcasm。

)Oh,the“printed”word,withitsinabilitytoconveytonewithoutgreatexplication。



Sometimesyoushouldaskyourself:AmIaman?

Andifso,amImansplaining?



Fromtimetotime,Iamjustplainmisunderstood!

Andthat’sbecauseIexpectpeopletounderstandmeasifIwassayingsomethingtotheirface。

ButI’mnot?

—?

I’mjusttyping。

SosometimesIhavetogobacktoaconversationandsay,“Whoa,sorry,Ireallymeantthislikethat,mybad,”or,“Garbage!

WhatIwastryingtosaywasx,andImadeitsoundlike?

y。





Intermsofthissite’sadministration,westillreservetherighttostraight-upbananyonewhoseriouslyuses“tl;dr。

”You’rejusttooconfused!

Forland’ssakes,whywouldyouadmityourshamefulignoranceinpublicanyway?

Comebackwhenyouhavethetimeto“r”somethingthatwasn’treallythat“l”anyway,future?

pal!

Hmm。

WhathaveI?