Why Do We Argue Online?

Why Do We Argue Online?

Did pounding out that exacting and scandalous personal attack, er, I mean deep revelation as to the complete ineptitude and downright idiotic nature of the A-hole at the other end of your monitor help at all? Did it feel good?

Did you then visualize some 10 year old punk kid sitting in his bed room rolling about in fits of laughter with a few cackling drones he calls mates joining in in the ruckus? And them maybe realize that you had been baited? Your well thought out insult, ah I mean well intentioned attempt to educate the person, is being laughed at, all that wonderful insight lost, to a couple of dense kids who obviously need to be educated by someone!

So, wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah! Why do we argue online? I honestly don't know. I do it and no I never post well thought out insults, my insults are always poorly thought out psudo-insults that probably don't even get laughed at by teenage kids cause they can't work out what the heck it is I am on about. I somehow wonder if you are currently wondering what it is I am on about!

On the up side, I don't get myself banned from the forums even tho there have been a few times when I fully expected to be. I wonder if maybe I am just not very good at being insulting? Like no one notices because they just don't believe it? Who knows? and I am rambling, again!

Why Do We Argue Online?

So back to the topic, why do we argue online? There are possibly many reasons, wanna argue about it? Just leave your argument in the comment box below!

I can only really speak for myself but I tend to choose my arguments out of a belief that I can actually open a mind or influence positive change. I even managed to get through to somebody once! In the online world I think we all can all agree that that is one major accomplishment.

More often then not tho I don't get anywhere with the people I argue with online. They, sadly, remain idiots (they know who they are!). I bet they think the same of me too. I would have to agree on that score. Arguing online is for idiots. I have, myself, pounded out some forum post that I in the end deleted (because it would get me banned, and really is not representative of the sort of person I really want to be). What was the point?! My poor keyboard just had its life span reduced by, a bit anyway.

I sometimes fool myself into thinking that it is good practice for being a writer, being able to formulate a good counter argument to prove whatever it is I am proving. The best outcome I get is that the other person stops posting (does that mean they are less of an idiot then me, for stopping before they get worked up? hmmm, gonna have to think about that one!). I guess it's nice to make them run? *scratches head*

Do you know why we argue online?

I would love to know, and maybe even argue with you about why we argue online (doesn't that sound like fun?!?). I must assume here that you do in fact argue online (otherwise, why are you here?). If you are one of those fancy pants enlightened people who don't ever get sucked into an online argument, can we examine you please? Perhaps we could pin down the 'never argues online' gene and one day we could develop a cure! Or at least a vaccination against arguing online!

If you would like to write your own hub to argue with my hub (or write about something else) feel free to sign up now.  I would love to invite you to share your thoughts as to why we argue online, and maybe take part in a poll? Lets see how many people think they don't argue online!

Do you argue online?

See results without voting

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Comments 33 comments

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Personal attacks of another's view point usually indicate that the attacking person is either a) losing the argument or b) has no valid points to refute the post.

Excellent writing and spot on.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

The Frog Prince - Glad you enjoyed this! I was trying to go for the tongue in cheek fun discussion with this one as thats really what our time spent online should be (or profitable if you are doing business here of course). I think every once in a while we all need to just chill. So what you are loosing an argument?, it doesn't mean you are wrong (or right for that matter, winning an argument just means you are good at arguing).

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

I gotcha! However, to me anyway, there is a distinct difference between arguing and personal attacks. The attack dogs are out here in Cyberland with the intent of no more than attacking the writer.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

The Frog Prince - Perhaps what I call debate is what you call an argument, I tend to think if it remains respectful, as between friends it's not an argument, its debate (now there is a good chance to sharpen our whit and challenge each other in a respectful and fun way). It becomes an argument when it dissolves into insults, at least from my perspective :)

Neon_Letters profile image

Neon_Letters 5 years ago

I guess we need to feel we are right and better than others? and you can talk big and avoid a fist fight XD.

nice article!

ReggieD06 profile image

ReggieD06 5 years ago

"I disagree with everything in this article. I think it was a waste of time writing it. Why would you write such an article. Nobody ever argues online. If you think people argue online, I am happy to point out that you are wrong, wrong, wrong..............."

Ok, enough of that. I really did enjoy your hub, Kirstenblog! I truly can't begin to explain why people argue online. I might be closer to one of those "fancy pants" that deliberately go out of my way to avoid getting into the verbal lashings regardless of how wrong I think the other party may be. If individuals are seeking true enlightenment or growth, I don't mind engaging in constructive bantering. On the other hand, if I feel that the individual is seeking confrontation or just arguing for the sake of arguing, I am not interested and I feel that my time is much too valuable to engage in such foolishness.

When I wrote those opening words in this comment, I felt uneasy even though I knew I didn't mean them. Words carry certain energies with them. I prefer to string words together that harness and promote positive energies. I can't do this if I am bashing others or trying to make them feel that they are in some way inferior to me.

So, when you find out what makes us take our precious time to argue online for no productive ends, please let me know. I prefer to spend my time making new friends than stacking up as many adversaries as I can. We can disagree with others, but we can do so and still maintain the utmost of respect for them and their position.

Thank you for another great hub!

Take care.

Reggie D.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Neon_Letters - I think you might be on to something with the need to be right, and possibly with the need to be better the as well. I do wonder why I need to be right so often, like, what's wrong with being wrong? Perhaps there is some sort of element of feeling less then the other person if we are wrong, and to avoid feeling they are better then us we need to be right and thus better.... There is some sound logic there.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

ReggieD06 - Your post gave me a good set of the giggles! My best guess I think still remains boredom, for getting into the arguments in the first place, staying in one might then come down to a need to be right, or better or something. It sure has been thought provoking, writing this and reading the responses so far :)

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

I dislike discussions and try to base any beliefs on how it affects my fellow man. I mean all fellow men. So I stand firm. But arguing is like two fence posts yakking at each other.

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

We probably argue online, because the other person can't smack us in the head when we annoy them! It's much easier to get a lot bolshier with an anonymous internet user that we have deemed to be an ignorant unmentionable part of the anatomy than a real person who might just out-argue us. Also, it is a way of releasing a load of anger, stress and tension that should rightfully have been directed at our significant other, offspring, the parking warden or the cat!

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Kirsten - We're obviously of like mind on this subject. I enjoy a good debate myself. Debate should involve facts. The lack of facts can often evolve into an argument filled with personal attacks and insults. Not pleasant nor necessary.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Micky Dee - No wonder I never see you in the religious forums arguing who has the cooler God (mine would win anyway, she has a motorcycle which means she is way cooler!).

CMHypno - You make a great point on the release of anger. I think more then one online argument has been a stress/anger release that really should have been directed at my husband as you say *wink* LOL.

The Frog Prince - You hit the nail on the head, the lack of facts, or the refusal to acknowledge facts in a discussion is like this huge button for me, I really should just walk away at that point. No one is helped by my getting worked up, even when its a good distraction from real life stress/anger.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Kirsten, you may want to check out my new editorial on selling the sizzle :)

Castlepaloma profile image

Castlepaloma 5 years ago from Saskatchewan, Canada

I am the nope never argue type, for an argument is an angry discussion and inefficient. Some tongue in cheek fun discussion, present lots of fact. I feel often enough an argument turn into angry on the side of the line because I ask challenging questions and presenting hard facts.

Almost everyone says to me - if we are to have an argument or a debate, you we must bah bah bah. I don't have enough strength anymore to say I don't argue

Great hub

optimus grimlock profile image

optimus grimlock 5 years ago

Great article, I think everyone argues online at some point. I think most people do it because they know they'll never meet the person. Frog prince is 100% right debating is fun arueing gets messy!

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Castlepaloma - I'm pretty sure I have seen you lurking on one of them religious or political forums (same as me I suspect, just get too curious and pop in to share our two pence), are you saying you don't mean to but sometimes get sucked into an argument? I ask because I think that is what happens with me. One of these days I am going to learn to just not look in the first bloody place! LOL. Let alone share my thoughts, thats how they suck ya in ya know.

optimus grimlock - Glad you enjoyed the article, it's been fun to read the comments sparked so far. That frog prince is pretty easy to agree with, I have to agree with you on that score. All this agreeing sure does make an argument real hard spark off. ROFL!

jennshealthstore profile image

jennshealthstore 5 years ago from Florida

I run into the most arguments when playing games online. It really makes me mad because of course it is just a game, and though I like to win, I am not going to call somebody a nasty name because they are not playing correctly or not doing so well. I think that a lot of people argue on line because they are not face to face with the person and people tend to get a little more "confident" with themselves knowing that the person on the other end of the computer can't punch them in the face. I bet half these people who are mean and nasty would not dare say something like that to the person if they were standing right in front of them. So I just laugh at them!! : )

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

jennshealthstore - I think I only got in one argument ever when playing online games. Usually I just got killed by more advanced players while trying to build a new character up! That used to really irk me! Worse then arguing even!

I do think you are spot on that folks do here what they would not do face to face, although I think people are more rude in real life then they used to be. Could be I am just getting old (early 30's isn't old is it?!?!)

Baileybear 5 years ago

I used to avoid conflict, but I've learnt to argue and even to win & to actually quite enjoy it! Actually, I like asking the hard questions to make people think (especially on the religious forums). Sometimes I get accused of being bitter & hateful, which is not where I'm coming from at all. Guess disadvantage of writing on forums is hard to gauge the tone etc. I like debate/intellectual discussion, but lose interest if it deteriorates to childish name-calling. I'm learning to take personal insults as a compliment - I touched a nerve somewhere - hopefully what I asked/said will generate some thinking.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Baileybear - I am chuffed to bits you found my hub and enjoyed it enough to comment! I often read your forum posts and enjoy what you have to say. I think we are possibly somewhat alike, I know I can be in a mood and read something on the forums that just begs me to set straight. I think every once in awhile you do manage to get through to people online too, you touch a nerve and probably spark new thinking on the subject. I do find the chances of that happening diminish rather rapidly if I go along with the decent into angry name calling posts (funny that). It can sometimes be good to remember the person behind the text on our screens is a real flesh and blood person, could even be your neighbor and you wouldn't know).

Baileybear 5 years ago

I can be rather blunt, but I am not a nasty person. I've never resorted to name calling or hateful speech. I make quite confronting statements and when people feel backed into a corner, that's when they seem to make the accusation of me being hateful etc. I see the same thing with Earnest - I get Earnest & he gets accused of similar things.

Religious folk tend to be more ruled by their emotions, and take things personally when I make a comment. I try to be respectful, but I'm rather intolerant of ignorance & lame 'reasons' hence will probe deeper to challenge them.

Baileybear 5 years ago

PS I like the cartoon.

Good debate arises when people argue about the content not make personal attacks. I've had some rather nasty personal attacks from 'christians' calling me names of the devil etc because they didn't like what I wrote

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

BB - I feel ya sister! I love a good debate and it's why I don't quit the forums (my curiosity gets the better of me sometimes). I just wish the name calling stuff stayed off of a site that is supposed to be for 'writers' (such as we are lol).

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

I certainly can relate to this. All the arguing and meanness in the forums almost made me give up on HP initially, but then I just realized that you can't take it seriously. There's such an anonymous quality to talking to others online that people feel they can say anything. I wish we could all be a little more supportive of each other!

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

DIYweddingplanner - It's such a good thing this isn't meant to be a forum site, if it was I probably would have left ages ago! It really is strange how people get when they are anonymous. I wonder, are they letting go and showing true colors? or something else?

It will probably be studied extensively someday by teams of psychologists. Who knows if they will discover anything new or not.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I try not to argue online and I rarely insult a person as a person though I might have to insult what they wrote. The times I get involved is usually when people are spouting off with a dangerous and damaging argument that the gullible might believe if they never read the truth juxtaposed against it. Of course, I never ever argue unless I am right. :D

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Interesting reading...I have ran into a few that I think love to argue for the sake of it. They have nothing better to do that to pick a debate to see how far it goes. I usually try to avoid commenting to those types of people, unless I feel I may have something productive to say. Most of the time, I will read their comment and then move on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It was interesting to read it.

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

LOL @ James! I doubt anyone ever argues knowing darned well they are wrong. I generally assume I am right when I argue :D

tipoague - lately I have not taken part in the various arguments that are recycled on the forums all the time but whenever I am bored there is something to read LOL.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba

I was always told if you argue with a fool people will be unable to tell you apart! I TRY to stay clear of arguments in the forums, but they are fun to watch and often both sides look foolish!

Many of the people in the forums today are purely posting to bait a response from various individuals who they know will be unable to resist, it is quite sad and childish really!

BUT, when I do enter a "debate" I KNOW I am right.. lol

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

LeanMan, the forums are a really great way to waste time, aren't they? LOL. People can be so predictable and every one is always right, right? LOL :P

pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Haha cool hub. I still have no idea why I argue. I sometimes think it is because we have no religious here that like to argue in person except my brother inlaw who emphatically states HE wrote the book. Ok whatever I say. But then he doesn't count.. families argue over lots of things both great and small. Maybe the anonymity of the net lures one into being something they are not normally. Who actually argues about religion in person? Anyways I haven't figured it out. If anyone figures it out be sure to let me know won't you?

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 4 years ago from London UK Author

Penny - I have read a few of your discussions on the forums here (a place with LOTS of online arguing LOL). I gotta say, I don't think I have seen you really argue, debate yes, argue? No. Frankly I think you have more patience then I do!

I find it weird when I agree with the point someone is making but not with how they are making it, if I say that their approach is not likely to work, it can seem as if I was disagreeing with their point entirely. It seems weird to argue with someone I actually agree with. It boggles the mind :P

Somehow you do seem able to keep on point, not get sidetracked arguing, and it makes it hard for others to argue with you. I know I don't always agree with your side of a debate on the forums sometimes but I cannot fault how you debate, you got my respect for that girl! :D

pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Awww thanks for the respect. Is that why I have to go hunting looking for someone to converse with hehe. Best not being so hard to argue with haha.

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