The Art of Commenting

Recently, I have become more active on social media, joining the conversation online. I am active in other things, but literally as a freelance writer, it is my job to sit behind a laptop and write a bunch of articles, so why not interact with other readers and writers online? I've discovered I can go a little overboard, so mentally I've set up a mini guideline for myself.

We all have opinions and at one point, in our social interaction life we engage in digital dialogue which includes commentary. To be clear, I am talking about the comments left underneath article. We enjoy giving our feedback, criticisms and leaving comments below articles.

It seems that the commentators of these digital conversations can range from the well informed contributor to the downright rude and unintelligent mass of cyber bullies. I consider myself, an informed contributor who is very opinionated but open to conversation but definitely not a cyber bully.

Think before you write and relax, it's just a comment!

However, I am learning not to take my commenting efforts too seriously. It’s in my nature to be passionate, have an impulsive reaction which may involve me hurriedly putting together a tirade of words to get my point across. Avoid this! Commenting requires time and thought. You want a concise, correctly punctuated comment with facts. There are other readers out there who are just as knowledgeable and you don’t want to be made a mockery of online.

You can't take back a tweet!

More seriously, with the internet, the world is even smaller. The internet has come a long way since the 90’s, a never ending black hole of information that is stored away in the secret libraries, amassing a host of classified information. It is important to choose your words carefully while posting comments. The grammar police are not the only ones watching out for illegal activity, they might be concerned about the abusive use of the apostrophe but you may find yourself in an actual police station, if you are tweeting inappropriate one liners. It wasn't so long ago when a boy was arrested for tweeting distasteful remarks on the British olympic swimmer, Tom Daley's performance

If you were wrong, there's no point in bickering! 

I recently commented on article to do with colorism in Brazil and a day later I checked to see what the responses were and oh my oh my, I was accused of ‘white racism’. I’m assuming the individual who replied was white so I won’t even get into that.

One thing I hate when reading comments, yes, if you engage in commenting, you have a tendency to read them too. I hate the bickering over useless arguments. Although useless arguments are subjective, I think the bickering is a result of becoming even more defensive when you are in the wrong and someone has called you out on your inaccuracy.  As soon as I was accused of white racism, I simply ignored the individual and continued about my day until this post. I don’t consider myself a racist, well, I’m sure all racists don’t consider themselves as racist either but hey! There was no point of replying the enthusiastic commenter; I doubt we will ever meet.  Besides the commentator’s accusatory statement, he made other observations which were valid. I am not perfect, I must admit the comment I made was flawed and it could have been written in a clearer and coherent manner to avoid confusion but it wasn’t and life goes on.

Now for the comments. J