How to Read and Comment on an Article

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Many times I have come across articles that divide people. Articles about breastfeeding, abortion, vaccination, home-schooling, religion, any article that has a for and against side, always has a flurry of comments with people insistent we hear their opinions, regardless of how controversial that opinion may be.

It seems to me people often see the title of an article and enter all guns a-blazing, going straight to the comment section to spout off their personal opinion.

The trouble with this, of course, is that people completely miss the point of the article, because they are so fired up on the topic, they don’t even read the article.

This has happened several times on KiKi & Tea and, to be brutally honest, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves about being a writer. There is nothing more annoying than someone who has no intention other than spouting off their misguided opinion in an article they haven’t actually taken the time to read, and therefore missed the point entirely.

Which is why when April Fools’ Day hit last year, NPR wrote an article entitled “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?”

It was brilliant. Needless to say, people were pretty peeved. The ‘article’ states:

We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this ‘story’.

There are 96 comments on the article. And even more on the Facebook post. And of course, people have completely missed the point.

Here is one comment:

This article is horrible. Americans DO read, it’s disrespectful to intelligent Americans to state as fact that America no longer reads.

And this one:

I mean, this article is so typical of the liberal media bias and intellectual elitists in America.

The person above goes onto say:

Thats why I’m proud to be an American!!! If you happen to hear a constant ringing sound in your ears, thats not tinnitus. That, my friends, is the sound of FREEDOM ringing!!! America Number One!!!

Right. OK then! Way to go you guys! You’ve just proved my point, and the point that NPR was making. People are seeing a title and blindly commenting because they are so annoyed at the title. Or the topic is one they have a strong opinion on.

There are also those who start to read an article, see something they don’t agree with, and start to comment, completely ignoring the fact that the writer of the article completes their train of thought further on, perhaps finalising their point with the complete opposite of the original statement.

So, in answer the title of this particular post, how you read and comment on an article is as follows:

  1. Read the article in its entirety.
  2. Form an opinion on said article.
  3. Comment on the article based on your opinion.

Follow these simple guidelines and you won’t look like a tool.

Have I left anything out? What is your pet peeve as a writer/reader/commenter on the interwebs?

  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    Let me just say this – I think people screaming at their laptops is totally counter-productive… they have keyboards – use them, for gorsake!!

    Oh, and Tony Abbott sucks! Go Swans 2015!!

  • Toro Delmar

    I find sugar coating to be intellectually dishonest. We have a societal problem with opinionated narcissism and cogitative bias. I find brutal honesty refreshing when points are logically debated. There is never a need for ad hominem attacks.

  • http://www.kyliepurtell.com/ Kylie Purtell, A Study in Cont

    YES!!!! I hate this so much!!! It’s particularly infuriating on FB when someone says “I haven’t read the article, but x, y, z” and it’s so off the mark seriously. Seriously why even bother commenting, just keep on scrolling, sunshine!

    I’ve had this a couple of times on my blog posts, when someone who hasn’t read the whole post just fires off some random comment and you’re left scratching your head. I just don’t see the point, is rather someone read the whole thing and not comment than half-read and random comment.

  • A Blog Called Henry

    Don’t you think so much of this is the click bait headlines that are so often used? In order to get people in, often the headlines are not necessarily as spot on as they could be with regards to the content… And so people get all crazy over the headline and don’t even make it to the article… But would they have clicked in the first place if the headline had been different? Facebook is hilarious for random, irrelevant comments.

    • http://www.26yearsandcounting.com/ 26 Years & Counting

      Yes, I think this is a huge factor and why I never use clickbait headlines (apart from the odd post where I mock clickbait). I don’t care about three million eyeballs on my posts, I care about people seeing it who want or need to.

      • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

        I really struggle with headlines to be honest. You want it to sum up the post and pique the interest of the reader.

        T.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Really good points! I think you’re right. It often is the headline.

      T.

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I just refuse to reply to comments where people haven’t read the article. If they can’t be assed to read my stuff, I’m not wasting my time replying to a bunch of over dramatic replies.

  • http://emhawker.com.au/ Emily

    FANTASTIC post! Kylie sent me here and I’m glad she did! How obvious is it when someone hasn’t read your article properly? That April Fool’s joke is hilarious.

  • http://www.mrsdplus3.com Robyn

    Hahah! That’s fabulous! Not reading things properly is one of my pet peeves too. I remember at school once we had a test with 50 questions. The very last question said, write your name at the top of the page, put your pen down and do not answer anything else. Of we all got caught!! It was our teachers way of teaching us to read all the questions first before answering. A lesson I have never forgotten x

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