Rant – Trolls On Comment Boards

February 9, 2010

Yesterday, I read a cool article by Globe and Mail writer Dakshana Bascaramurty called The couple that tweets together, stays together – How some Web 2.0 couples make I Love Yous work in 140 characters or less. It goes into a few couples whose online connectivity reflects their personal relationships. This is interesting to me, of course, as I will be speaking about the subject at SXSW. Here’s an excerpt:

Welcome to relationships in the 2.0 era, where gadgets and social media have penetrated almost every part of the dating scene. While conservative etiquette experts cluck their tongues at those who tweet their anniversary dinner orders or express their love in 140-character bursts, the wider public is slowly accepting the integration of modern technology in relationships. Some are even embracing it.

The part that bothered me was the article’s reader comments. Toronto has an amazing and vibrant tech community – and its only growing. The Globe and Mail is, in my opinion, one of the only Canadian nationals with a decent technology section. This is why I found it fairly disappointing to see a “to tweet or not to tweet” debate over the article.

What would I have liked to see? Debate over the extent of public pdas that should or should not be displayed/ communicated on social networks; stories from people who have done/tried it – good or bad results; even pet peeves of people who actively participate on these social networks… anything half-intelligent and related – rather than the ignorant anti-social media rantings that do, in fact, currently rot the comment section. Here are some of my fave examples:

“This article makes me somewhat embarrassed to be related to the human species. Twitter, Facebook, all of this, it’s mentally sickening.”

“Globe and Mail, there are way more important technological advancements and social phenomenon to write about than twitter!”

“status update: I’m sitting on the toilet trying to get rid of the 40 suicide wings I ate yesterday- there’s blood everywhere and I have gone through 2 rolls of toilet paper already… i feel bad for the woman in the stall next to me”

“It’s hard to believe that supposedly mature people behave in such a juvenile way. I guess that’s what Twits do!”

“Is this not just voyeurism by invitation? look at me, look at me MOM! Look at me. This constant need for attention is bizarre.”

“get a life! i agree with kati. seriously – time wasters! and the followers even more so..”

“i could only get through half the article before I wanted to vomit”

We live in a technologically advanced age and are lucky enough to have a city that not only reflects that, but is a major player in that game. There are so many industry leaders who represent Toronto’s tech scene on a global level that its maddening to see these commenters/trolls  incapable of an intelligent debate, on-topic.

C’est la vie I suppose.. but if ignorance is bliss, why are they all so bloody angry and negative?


9 Responses to “Rant – Trolls On Comment Boards”

  1. Average IT guy Says:

    They are bloody angry and negative, because they are really getting annoyed by people LIKE YOU. And don’t make the mistake of thinking these people must naturally be computer illiterate types, because they are more than likely very technical and literate online types, some of whom work in the IT field.

    Contrary to what you might think, these people aren’t really offended by online displays of affection. Nobody is against using online dating sites to meet your partner. What does bother people about the core of the G&M article is that social media geeks (like you) have the notion that their lives have more meaning by posting all these useless updates for strangers to see. Take for instance you and your boyfriend. I visited his Twitter page, and in the 1 hour prior to when when he Twitted about you and him having enjoyed lobster and lamb for dinner (I assume this 1 hour period was the actual dinner), he submitted around 8 @#$@ tweets. EIGHT tweets, on Valentine’s day while he and you were supposedly having your romantic dinner. You had pictures online of you cooking the lobster, pics of the bottle of wine you drank, etc. Sounds like I know too much? Well, it’s all from data you posted yourselves ONLINE for all to see! Let’s face it, this is WHY people think you are losers. You make yourselves look silly.

  2. Lee Dale Says:

    Funny, I don’t see Dave or Melissa being anything but kind and giving, yet the impression for projecting douchebag here is that your lives have more meaning because you use Twitter. Cute assertion from someone who’s revealing more about themselves than you.

    If captain anonymous here isn’t interested in tweeting, love, or expressions of such through that medium, how about avoiding such tweet happy people and articles about same. (Not like he was suckered in by the terrifically misleading title: The couple that tweets together, stays together. Nor did he have the need to read Dave’s tweet stream just to prove how much of a prick he is.)

    Freedom of choice. It’s a magical thing. STFU and exercise it.

  3. Haha, this guy is the worst. Oh! And I know Dakshana! Heh.

  4. Dave Coleman Says:

    Hey average IT Guy … how was your Valentines day? I would love to know.

    BTW I think Twitter humanizes my online presence. If you just want facts about mobile you might as well follow an RSS feed.

    PS if I ever heard you speak to my gf the way you came across in that post you would see a whole different side of my personality … one that you don’t see online

  5. Thanks for all the responses.

    Rayanne and Lee – thanks for the support.

    Average IT guy – first of all, I’d like to say your response made me laugh out loud. Yes, you caught us on Vday and called us out on it. I did get a chuckle out of that. Necessary to be so rude in the following paragraph…? nawt so much.

    Don’t have time now to go into a detailed retort as I’m busy vlogging, working, making lobster bisque and sharing it all with the world at the same time :p

    I will be responding to this further via blog post in the next week or so.

    Everyone – Please continue sending me your thoughts and opinions so I know what to chat about and touch upon in said post.

    Thanks all and happy tweeting

  6. Those reader comments are pretty outlandish. However, they’re also par for the course on the G&M comments section…

    I’m surprised that someone as “technical” as average IT guy doesnt ‘get’ Twitter. Most of his peers do.

    That being said, I think it says a lot about your relationship if you’re willing to put it all out there. Clearly you enjoy each other’s company based on your v-day tda!

    (Tweeted Display of Affection) *groan*

  7. Ben Lucier Says:

    As an extroverted IT guy in love, I’ve always enjoyed the tools brought to me and I’m always up for trying new ways of communicating.

    From Twitter, to Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc., I find there are few things I *need* to keep private. In fact, I can’t recall a single time when sharing my life online has had a negative consequence for me.

    On the plus side, I’ve become closer to my new friends faster, while weeding out those I may not be so interested in thanks to the information I have at my disposal.

    As for those who say be careful about what you tweet because relationships aren’t forever, I’m not going to live my life worrying about what Google has cached about me and my relationships. So what if my friends, family, colleagues (and enemies) know that I’ve lived a life of love? There are worse things I could be known for!

    What I find curious is how much venom comes from those individuals who disagree with a person’s decision to share their lives a little more publicly than we could have in 1990.

    And if you don’t like what you see, for whatever reason, remember that every social site on the planet has a feature called unfollow, or something appropriately named button.

    Some of them even have an uber-cool-probably-useful BAN button for those super-offended folk like Average IT Guy above.

  8. Average IT guy Says:

    Well at least I’ve provided some excitement to your lives. Without people like me you wouldn’t have anything to write about.

    And yes I did come across a little rudely, so please accept my apologies. It’s not personal.

    Btw, you looked very nice in your Valentine’s attire, and I’m sure the lobster was great.

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