I’m fortunate in that the people who comment on my blog tend to leave thoughtful and/or supportive notes. I love it when an article resonates with someone, or inspires them to share their own advice or anecdote. It’s all about starting a dialogue and connecting with people who have similar interests in civility, etiquette, and style.
I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess. Oftentimes I’ll be reading an article online and, when I glance over to the comments section, see so much vitriol spewed there it’s shocking. It doesn’t matter if the article is about something controversial, like a political issue, or as benign as a celebrity baby photo. People feel entitled to chime in, and, if they don’t agree with the article, post ugly, hateful comments underneath. There is so much name-calling and negativity. It makes you wonder who on earth has the time to do this all day.
Of course, what would happen if people had to post comments with their actual names attached? Would they be so quick to make nasty statements if anonymity wasn’t an option? Would they take a moment to consider whether or not they could stand by their argument in the real world? Would they want their community, their neighbors, their boss to see what thoughts run through their head? Could they handle taking responsibility for their hateful words?
I doubt it. That’s why I encourage to post a comment only when they have something supportive or at least constructive to share. It’s okay to disagree, but do so in a civilized manner. Name-calling is below you. You aren’t any closer to changing someone’s mind; you’re just antagonizing them and making yourself look bad.