People Are Really Bad At Arguing Online
Why take it to lengths it doesn’t need to go?
At the end of the day when I’m decompressing, I simply lay in bed and scroll through my different social media apps to catch up on the day’s news and see what family and friends were up to.
However, even though this time should be spent decompressing and calming my mind so I can drift off into slumber, I always feel the burning temptation to open the comment section of everything from political posts to opinionated memes. Of course, anything divisive is going to have different opinions, but it seems the internet’s barrier to entry doesn’t involve a crash course in: Knowing How To Debate 101.
As soon as someone has a difference of opinion the big guns are pulled out. People go from 0 to 100 at the snap of a finger. Simply stating, “I think you’re wrong because of this logical point,” is met with a swift: “Yeah well, your profile picture is ugly and you’re fat!”
I was scrolling through a Facebook post on the topic of climate change last night when I gave into temptation and opened the hundreds of comments. I knew it wasn’t going to be a peaches and cream discussion on how to go about bringing change for our children’s future more than it was just going to be a bunch of people without profile pictures arguing against climate change supporters by attacking everything from what they look like to missed commas. One of the laws of internet trolls is they’re free from spelling or grammatical issues while, at the same time, berating someone for a missed comma.
“U support climate chenge but cant even add a coma in ur sentence ur hole argument is invaled!”
It’s almost as if the people who are arguing for the sake of arguing actually know very little on the topic and need to resort to the ad hominem strategy in order to score a cheap win for themselves. It’s not like they’re fighting for any internet points. The worst part is the person who was the target ends up falling for the bait and an argument ensues where no one wins and everyone just walks away with a headache.
The funny part is there’s no way half of these arguments would ever take place face-to-face. It’s almost like no one is trying to listen or understand each other's points more than they’re just trying to be right and walk away with personal e-victories.
Collect enough e-victory tickets and you get to trade it in for a game of jacks or a stuffed animal while suffering the concussion of metaphorically slamming your head into a concrete wall of loud unmoving opinions.