- Internet & the Web
Why Do People Post Negative Comments?
How many times have you been reading a perfectly harmless article online only to find some of the nastiest, rudest comments posted after it? How often do you watch a video on YouTube and see some of the meanest posts and comments in response to it? I'll bet this type of thing is pretty common in your life if you use the internet on a regular basis. By why do people post such negative comments?
Misery Loves Company
I hate to say this, but some people posting these comments are honestly miserable. Sometimes I read an extremely negative comment on someone else's work and I think, "No one can be this unhappy." But yes, some people really are that miserable.
I've met some of these people. I have customers and co-workers I deal with regularly that indeed are the people that make negative comments. They are proud to talk about it. I am not full of sunshine and smiles all the time either, and we all have a bad day here and there, but there are folks that never see the bright side to anything. If someone gives them a rose, they are upset about the thorns.
The only thing that gives some of these guys a momentarily thrill is posting an obnoxious response to someone else's hard work. The fact is, there are other miserable saps (or internet trolls) out there that want to join in on the party. This is because none of these people actually get invited to real parties because they are such downers. Misery loves company and it is alive and well in many comment sections on sites like Yahoo and YouTube.
Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can't... Post Mean Comments
Sometimes you are not just dealing with a troll that is totally miserable. There is another level to their animosity they have towards other internet users. It is jealousy.
I absolutely can't stand the comments that obviously have no merit that just reek of jealousy. If a firefighter saves 3 children from a burning building, a person comments about how the firefighter did not save them fast enough. When a person posts a comment about video with a simple, "This sucks," what did that really contribute to the conversation?
That firefighter and director of the video are actually doing something with their lives. Many people posting overly critical comments are just jealous. They could be doing something, but instead, they are taking time out of their day to post comments all over the internet. Since that is clearly not productive, obviously they are not living the life they'd like to be living. What better way to feel good about yourself than tearing into someone with a more successful life than your own?
When it comes to jealousy, I have not even touched on the subject of celebrities. The nastiest of the comments always seem to be posted under celebrity articles, blogs, and videos. What I find most amusing about the negative posts is no one is being forced to read this stuff.
When a person clicks on a Kim Kardashian article only to bash her, what is going on in his or her head? I don't have the time and energy to spend reading articles about someone I don't like. On some level, the reader has some fascination with her, even if it is only fueled by hatred... and a whole bunch of jealousy!
People Crave Attention
If you can't get attention for doing something positive or actually contributing in a beneficial way to society, why not just get attention for all the wrong reasons? Studies have shown, many people just simply want attention and it does not matter how they get it. Even a child that does not get praise from a parent eventually learns misbehaving will get attention. Sure it is negative, but attention is still attention.
Not only can a person get attention from other readers by stirring the pot with negative comments, the person posting can often get even more attention by other readers' replies. Obviously arguing with other readers is not a productive use of time, but hey, the internet troll gets a kick out of it. Half the time I don't even believe the person posting the comment believes what he or she is saying. The more controversial the statement, the angrier the responses. People that crave attention love that type of thing.
Even I Have To Respond...
Every now and then, even I can't help but get fired up about a Yahoo article. Instead of writing a nasty comment, I prefer to write a hub about it giving my own reasons for my opinion. Check it out:
OK, Sometimes The Critics Are Right
I would like to be clear that not all negative comments are totally ridiculous. I've read some pretty horrible articles on Yahoo that are worthy of some unpleasant comments. However, most of the articles do not deserve miserable, hate-filled posts.
Sometimes people do genuinely have a valid point. If incorrect information is listed, the grammar is terrible, or the writer is being a total jerk, then maybe a comment with constructive criticism or some helpful hints is the best action. However, really useful comments are few and far between.
Opinions Are Like ***holes... We've All Got One
If you have an opinion, it is great to express it. Sometimes an article is posted that is more of an opinion piece than anything else. In this case, it makes sense to post an opinionated comment back. In some cases, if you see someone bashing a celebrity you like, it is normal to attempt to defend that person. It is easy to get caught up in these online fights, so people should really proceed with caution.
The amazing aspect to the internet is the anonymity of it. After all, anyone can post anything, and it is likely people can't figure out who you are based on a screen name. It gives people this incredible sense of freedom to be able to unleash any opinion, no matter how unpopular, on a group of readers. After all, that is what I am doing. I am certainly not putting my real name on this... you internet trolls reading this might hunt me down!
You Don't Have To Be Mean!
Stop The Negativity Now
Of course, you can't ever completely stop Negative Nelly or Gloomy Gus, but you can take the wind out of their negative sails. (Wow, so many terrible clichés in this hub... some troll is bound to come down on me for that!) If you see a mean response to someone's work, you can always reply with the opposite statement.
One time, I read a perfectly nice article on Yahoo. I enjoyed reading it, thought it was funny, and shared it with others. I looked at the comments and every single one was an insult. People complained about the quality of writing, the examples in the articles... even the way the writer was dressed in the photo! I posted a comment like: "I enjoyed this article! I thought it was funny and I totally got the joke even if other readers did not. I shared it with others."
I hope that if the writer of the article was sitting at his computer weeping at all the negativity, he at least found his one supporter in the comments. If you see a person being bashed online and you don't feel he or she deserves it, go ahead and post a positive comment. Eventually if we all help each other out, maybe the trolls will go on to do something constructive with their free time. Perhaps they will take up knitting or something.
Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle
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