Comments Sections – Productive or Destructive?

With comment sections being under almost every article written it could not be easier to quickly thrash out what one thinks about the issue being discussed. In theory this is great to see what others think regarding a certain issue, but in practice the platform is used for individuals to go on anger fueled rants and to insult others with conflicting opinions.

As of late I have taken to reading through comment sections seeing what the general public think of social issues and whether it is because I am looking at Facebook posts and videos it seems to me that the comments section is a gold mine for blind ignorance and pent up angst. There is very little acknowledgment and acceptance of a stranger’s view and through the anonymity of the internet some individuals do not hold back when explaining their opposing thoughts. Posting comments is so quick and easy, one simply needs to fire out their thoughts and hit the enter key and through that I think that is where people lose any sense of formulated thought. There is no taking time to conjure up an articulated, thought out response; to me it seems like people are just interested in bashing out the quickest reply in an attempt to gain the upper hand and harshly disprove their new found opponent.

Where a comment section provides a platform for discussion allowing everyone to see things from another view it is completely lost for whenever there is a genuine comment posted there is a barrage of scornful retorts shutting down any chance for elaboration and explanation which is where it turns ugly and becomes counter productive. It’s a downright shame because it could easily be used to open people’s minds and see things from a different perspective.

Again, the main flaw in this view is most likely because I have taken to looking at Facebook. But, my reasoning for this is because with over 1.5 billion active users Facebook is the worldwide most used social media platform which provides an alright view of what people are thinking. Obviously the sample is flawed, not everyone is commenting on posts, the biggest age demographic is 25 – 34, 1 in 5 views are from the US and so on, but more people worldwide are going to see posts as opposed to on national newspapers’ websites, independent forum sites and so on.

The main thing to remember is that conflicting opinions does not have to go down an ugly path. One does not have to adapt another’s way of thinking, there is no need to change opinion, quite the contrary, one can keep their viewpoint, but it is of the utmost importance to recognise and understand the other standpoints one can have and respect it. That’s the thing with moral issues, there is no right or wrong answer, very few things are black and white, there are grey areas and not everyone is going to agree due to culture, personal experience and the likes, but it is paramount to look at the whole picture before forming a solid view otherwise all you have is a loose opinion which could easily be discredited and leave you looking the fool.

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