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:
- Read the article in its entirety.
- Form an opinion on said article.
- 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?