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Angry-computerI’ve been heavy in these Internet streets for a minute now, and I’ve come to realize one thing: Folks just want to argue.

No matter how many good things happen around the ‘web (and there are many), or positive, upbeat articles that get written—say, congratulating an actress on her nuptials—the comments on the articles can quickly devolve into a spat, or worse, an all out war of words.

Take our recent post about Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha’s marriage.

While many happily wished the couple well, others took things in quite another direction.

After one commenter wondered, “How does a drop dead gorgeous woman marry a guy like that?” the conversation quickly morphed into a debate about colorism, education levels, Nigerians, and why Method Man is or is not fine.

And when another person thought it interesting Washington married a Nigerian man instead of a black American man (although Nnambdi was born and raised in the States), all hell broke loose.

But why?

I never understood what would prompt people to verbally joust for hours, or even days (yes, this happens), with people they’ve never met and will likely never lay eyes on.

What satisfaction does one get from “going in” on a fellow commenter and assuming all manner of ungodly things about them?

Does it make someone walk a little taller to eviscerate (in their mind) their foes, or point out an errant typo, or turn a positive post about love into a smackdown about why black men/women ain’t sh*t?

When I come across comments that appear angry for anger’s sake I immediately want to ask, “Who hurt you?!” then give that person a hug (and/or my therapist’s number).  Because I can’t explain what would compel a person to get all agitated and up in arms about someone who, quite probably, does not even care they exist.

Is it just a matter of winning an argument? Feeling like your superior debate skills have shone through? Gabbing hold to whatever personal victory (albeit small and kinda pathetic) you can get?

I’m not exactly sure. But when it comes to thumb thugging, I rely on the wisdom of Sweet Brown: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

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26 Comments

  1. C'mon Son

    haven’t you heard?

    Misery loves company and they sure like to spread it like mayo.

    Those internet bullies that lurk behind their screens are simply a variation of real life cowards. This is why you leave your comment and let it speak for itself. Internet beef is such a waste of time.

    I know it gets tempting to respond to someone who calls you out your name or insults you or your intelligence…but try not to get dragged into other people’s abyss.

    It’s oh so much sweeter when you don’t respond and allow coward bullies to stew in their juices.

  2. Anthony

    I admit that I like a good Internet argument. I don’t like name calling or personal attacks, but arguing a point can be fun.

    • Vanderboom

      Arguing a point CAN be fun, but it baffles me when people come up with an entire back story for someone they disagree with based on a couple of comments. You know, when Poster #1 says something ever-so-slightly critical or obnoxious (ex. “FamousActress has put on a few pounds; she shouldn’t be wearing clothes that tight”) and Posters 2, 3, 4, and 5 accuse Poster #1of being a jealous misogynist who has never achieved anything, hates nature, wants to suppress everyone’s right to self-expression, etc.

  3. Oh yeah, Youtube taught me to walk away. It takes 3-4 back and forth replies MAX to tell whether you are in a merry-go-round discussion where neither party will learn or accept the other side. This is 99% of internet discussions because people want so badly to be RIGHT. I’ve only engaged in and read very few discussions where both parties are open to learning and agreeing to disagree. I’ve seen/engaged in even fewer where one or both people admit to being WRONG. Now, that almost never happens.

    Once discussions go crazy with non-stop back and forth, I stop following unless there is some serious truth and knowledge being dropped and there is something to actually learn from the discussion. These sort of discussions have to be insult and logic fallacy free also.

  4. I got on a Y! forum recently where a guy told me that my point was ridiculous. I asked him to elaborate and all hell broke loose when I teased him about not being able to back up his statement. When he told me to go play with myself (not that clean), I reported him to the internet police and got out. Discussion ended well but I’m convinced there are a lot of unhinged ppl out there.

  5. Oh wow, I was wondering why that thread got so many comments on there. I was too busy enjoying the Essence Fest this weekend.

    I simply agree to disagree with people. You have your opinion and I have mine. Point blank.