I love the internet. I love reading blogs. I love reading well-argued opinions that cause me to question my accepted view of the world. I love the funny things I now I have access to without having to wade through hours of Futurama episodes to find the one comedy special I want to see. I love having access to music and art the industries wouldn’t have let me see. I love r/cancer on Reddit for the support I’ve received and can hopefully offer.
I do not, however, love internet commenters.
Everyone has opinions. I’m one of the most opinionated people I know. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion. In fact, if someone has no opinions on matters that are important (in my opinion), I automatically believe they are stupid. That belief is, in fact, just an opinion. They could be extremely brilliant people, who simply do not share my interests. Even though they should, in my opinion.
But the internet commenter has no opinions. They have facts, in their opinion. They are absolutely positive they are right, and they are going to tell you that. They might even present statistics to prove they are right. You can not sway them with any counterpoint, even if you present more statistics to back up your opinion, and even if your reasoning is superior in logic, in your opinion. Or at least that is my opinion of them, anyway.
It took me a long time to realize that engaging in any discussion with these internet commenters is completely futile, in my opinion.
The internet has given everyone a platform to present their opinions, and in my opinion, that is a good thing. But too many people accept the opinions of others on the internet as fact, in my opinion, and it is my opinion that it results in too much polarization.
If libtardhater_24 & thuglifer16 really had all the answers, does anyone really believe that people in power wouldn’t notice? Yes, people in power are often very self-serving, in my opinion, but if they could solve the world’s problems by reading internet comments, don’t you think they would? If they solved the world’s problems, they would be so popular and would be set for life, and immortalized in the annals of history. If only they’d just read the comments!
The other major problem in the age of internet commenters, in my opinion, is that there is no room for compromise. No room for reasonable discussion. No room for conceding a position in one area, and holding firm in another.
On the internet, you are either anti-government, or a socialist. You either support foreign policy decisions, or you support terrorists. You aren’t allowed to be anti-war while supporting the troops. You aren’t allowed to recognize that most police officers are highly trained professionals who just want to help their communities, while also recognizing that too many are racist, poorly trained, jumpy, idiots who are protected by unions and the tendancy for police to view each other as “brothers”, rather than co-workers.
And the hilarity of it all is these entrenched people, who refuse to recognize any middle ground, in my opinion, often hold and spew views that are completely contradictory. Why is it, the commenters who believe so strongly in the 2nd Amendment, seem to ignore the 14th? If you want to argue that the Constitution gives you the right to keep and bear arms, then you have to acknowledge that your state has to recognize same-sex marriage because other states do. You can’t be for smaller government unless it comes to what occurs between consenting adults in a bedroom. Well, you can, but it is stupid, in my opinion. You also can’t be someone who believes in government regulation and services, but think that all police are evil. Again, you can, but it is just as stupid, in my opinion.
Yesterday, I posted about getting rid of the practice of tipping in restaurants. And while if you read that post (I’m sorry) you may have been left wondering why I wrote a post about the practice, with arguments for and against, only to tell you I was undecided about it. That may have seemed pointless. But, obscured in all that babbling there was a point. The point is, I don’t know. Not, “I don’t know what the point is.” The point itself is, I don’t know.
In my opinion, we need to learn to admit we don’t have all the answers. We need to start considering that other people may have some validity to some of their arguments, even though you find yourself in different camps. There is a difference between Democratic Socialism and Totalitarian Style Communism. There is a difference between Capitalism and the Free-Market. There are unnecessary, complex, ridiculous regulations, but there does exist a need to exercise controls over the greedy, dangerous, unfair business practices of the international conglomerations.
It is okay to recognize that crime is too high within certain communities, but it is not okay to ignore the socio-economic conditions that lead to it. It is okay to realize the deeply ingrained social issues of people living in poverty, but you must acknowledge the exploitation of those issues by the people who keep them there. Conversely, it must be acknowledged that just because somebody has reached a position of success, they didn’t necessarily step on anyone to get there, and may be doing more to help people than any “grass-roots” level movement could.
“But Josh, isn’t this, in fact, just one large internet comment from you?”
Well, yes, & no. My blog-type-thing is mine. The opinions in here are my opinions (if you didn’t catch that the ninety-seven times I already said that.) I’m not commenting on anyone else’s article, I’m presenting to you, my opinions. I’m certainly not stating my opinions as facts. My job isn’t to dissuade or persuade you. It is to give you something to think about, or at least let you know the kind of random shit I think about.
So? What do you think of my opinion on internet commenters? Please let me know your thoughts, in the comments section…on the…internet. Oh wait, I guess not ALL internet commenters are bad, in my opinion.