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How to Argue Pointlessly on Forums

Updated on June 23, 2010

Looking to anger yourself for no reason? Want to waste time running around in verbal circles with some stranger over something petty? Want to do the mental equivalent to poking yourself over and over again annoyingly with a pin like some kind of masochist? Do you want to experience all these irritating sensations and more with no cost to you except your precious, precious fleeting time that is irreplaceable? Well, your search for such a state of bliss is over! I will show you how to achieve this ecstasy by starting and continuing pointless arguments on internet forums and bulletin boards!

Step 1: Find an internet forum, bulletin board, or message board.

This is pretty simple and straightforward. Think of a topic that interests you and about which you have a collection of very strong, yet unfounded opinions. It is possible to settle for one in which your opinions have foundation, but remember that the best arguments are born from fiery ignorance. In fact, let's take a moment to spell out the formula:

ignorance + passion = circular, fruitless arguments with no basis = fun

So make sure to pick your topic carefully, so as to maximize both your ignorance and your baseless passion.

Politics, for example, is a good universal choice and works for almost everyone because it is global in scale (there's no way any one person has all the knowledge necessary to make any real judgements regarding such complex issues with so many random, unknown variables and people involved. Not even the politicians themselves.) and it is a subject that people are very touchy about because it can encompass or dictate how people live their lives. If this isn't fodder for a good pointless argument, I don't know what is.

That's just one obvious example, but I'm sure you can think of many more just off the top of your head. So do it.

Now, let me note that a forum doesn't have to specifically be about a particular topic for people to argue about that topic--it's just more convenient for your purposes since it'll be easier to get into the subject. But if you wonder whether the forum you picked is relevant to what you want to pointlessly argue about, don't worry: I've seen message boards dedicated to teenie bopper bands get into violent arguments about whether gay marriage should be legal or not.

In fact, sometimes these types of off-topic arguments are even better, since the members of the forum will tend to be not as thoroughly educated or used to the subject, thus increasing their ignorance level and tendency to talk out of their asses.

So be creative with it.

Step 2: Start a topic that asks a loaded, leading question

After you've found a forum, it's time to post. You can always hang around the board for a few days or weeks first so the other members get used to you, but that's not really necessary--it's totally up to you.

Now, you could always start the argument in a thread that already exists, that another member started--claiming to take a reply the wrong way and getting needlessly offended about something is a good way to do it--but that requires a bit more finesse and means that you'd have to do all the work of actually reading the thread first. It's much easier just to post your own thread asking a leading, potentially inflammatory question.

For example, to use the gay marriage thing again:

"Why Do Gays Want to Get Married?"

Now, don't editorialize too much. You want to be able to go back and claim that all you did was just ask an innocent question out of curiosity, so the question itself is really quite enough. If you do want to further explain your question, make sure it makes a case for your ignorance and innocence, lest they think you're a troll (which you are, but no matter).

When people start to respond, there will invariably be some less patient individual who will reply with something like: "Why do straight people get married? For the same reasons, dumbass." Reply back to this person sounding lightly offended by the rudeness, then ask another "innocent" question or make another "innocent" remark. For example: "Oh, well, I didn't think gays wanted the same things as straight people."

Now is when the fun begins. At least 3 or 4 people will jump and get offended by this kind of thing, and indignantly will ask: "What do you mean by that, [your screen name]?"

This is where you tell them what you mean. Be as passionate as you can. Base every opinion you have on stereotypes and infomercials. Pretty soon, you'll have everyone tearing their hair out.

Occasionally, you'll even attract people who are just as ignorant as you and they'll come back you up and agree with you.

Remember, this was just an example: Practically any highly polarized or controversial subject can potentially work. Pick the one you know least about for extra bonus points.

Step 3: Make Everyone on the Forum Hate You

Repeat step 2 enough times and this should be a snap. Every time you go post in a thread, people will just assume that they're going to disagree with basically anything you have to say. But you know what? Here's the secret:

They love it.

Yes, they LOVE hating your guts. They love seeing that someone who appears to hold beliefs so contrary to theirs is an asshole, because then it seems to validate their own beliefs and makes them feel like they're righteous. Also, your ignorance will confirm their own intelligence to themselves. The stupider you seem, the more smart and enlightened they'll feel. (And these are just the ones with fragile egos, like yours, you troll. The ones with more secure egos that have better, more productive things to do...just won't talk to you, probably. They're not bait-takers. But, thankfully, that's probably not most people on your forum.)

Step 4: Go to bed at 3 in the morning

After spending all that time pointlessly arguing when you could have been doing something productive, realize that you've stayed up all night again and feel guilty. Go to bed.

Alternate Step: Be on the receiving end

Try to look for a troll like the one described here, and humor him. Argue the hell out of your flimsily-based beliefs. After all, if you were more secure in them, you'd probably feel no need to get into the same re-hashed arguments over and over again.

All right, then; there you have it. Go find a message board and have a blast irritating people and getting yourself irritated. Let me know how it turned out!


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    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      thehands, this is clever and funny. I really enjoyed it. I go to the forums specifically to waste some time (taking a break from real business/work). I look for anything silly or anything that looks like it could be a "legitimate" and reasonable discussion and ignore the irritating stuff. I try to avoid arguing, myself; but I'll admit to being a little bit of voyeur when it comes to enjoying the right kind of forum fight (if I'm in the mood).

    • thehands profile image

      thehands 6 years ago

      @Lisa HW: Haha, yes, I try to avoid arguing, too, these days. But when I was younger, man, I instigated so many pointless arguments. A lot of this article was unfortunately drawn from experience.

      I remember once years ago in a forum about a teen drama, I got into an argument about the subjective vs objective nature of reality. And it had started out in a topic about something totally different. How I could turn threads about some character's babydaddy or the like into a philosophical debate is beyond me.

    • profile image

      Baileybear 6 years ago

      funny, but true. will link to my latest hub about venturing into the religious forums (pit of vipers!)

    • profile image

      edullyjicle 20 months ago

      Great post. Quite refreshing provided all the duplicate written content out there. Cheers for doing something original.

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