This past weekend, like any day, I routinely visited the website to see what was going on in the world of music. I sift through the headlines to see if I see any news on bands I listen to, if there are any exclusives, and to see if anything catches my eye. Normally when I find something that interests me I click the link to view the news post and I also sift through responses, not to “troll” but to get some more insight because a lot of times users will have some more info that can be added on the subject so I guess you could say I read through the responses to learn even more about what is going on with the particular headlines.
As of late though the comments I’ve read on particular headlines haven’t been geared towards adding to the subject at hand, but rather people arguing back and forth about the most ridiculous things. Now it is to the point that when I open a link to view responses I make a bet with myself to see how many comments in it takes someone to say something either completely unrelated or something so extreme that it starts an argument. Then if an argument ensues I like to see how many people get involved. Sadly it’s turned from me being informed on a certain subject to reading what sometimes feels like a script from a Jerry Springer show minus a fat person taking their clothes off.
The past few days I was entertained by reading comments on the post regarding The Gallows frontman leaving the band and then later the news regarding Coheed’s bassists being arrested for armed robbery. After reading the comments I can’t help but ask myself questions that I will never get the answers to. Questions such as “I wonder how much time people have on their hands to take time out or their day to argue with someone they don’t even know”, “I wonder how old these kids are”, and “Do they really think it’s going to make a difference to the other person”.
Now before I dive into what bothers me, I want to preface the rest of this rant with this statement: Yes, I believe people are entitled to their own opinion and yes, I know they have the right to share it with whoever, however, whenever, and wherever they want.
That being said, let’s dive into the last question of “Do they really think it’s going to make a difference”? When I read these people arguing back and forth, commenting on one another’s responses, calling each other names and telling the other person that their opinion is wrong, I can’t help but get the image of some immature kid, probably either spoiled or so bitter about something in their life, pounding away at the keyboard, grinning, hitting submit, and then exclaiming “Take that!”. What puzzles me though is that once they start tackling whatever issue they are on, do they really feel like they are going to change the other person’s mind on the matter? Honestly, if I could get all these people in a room and ask the question “By a show of hands, who honestly believes they are getting through and changing the minds of the people they argue with”?
I guess I always think of the age old piece of wisdom of “Choose your battles wisely” when it comes to these issues and commenting on them. Once again, this is my opinion and according to a lot of people, my opinion could actually be wrong (not that they disagree but now opinions can be wrong-I know, it’s strange)but, for example, in the case of the Coheed bassist being arrest, I don’t think arguing over whether or not the members of Coheed and Cambria make a lot of money from their work contributes to the fact that their bassist was arrested for armed robbery.
The point of this whole thing is say that if you are going to contribute, contribute something useful to the conversation. If you have an opinion, give it and back it on why you feel that way. If you have facts about something, state them and then say where you got them. Anyone can argue about anything. I could play devil’s advocate all day long with people and pose questions and give opinions on both sides of any situation but it’s not productive. There is a difference between opening someone’s eyes to another side of a story and blatantly arguing like a child. Originally I had intended this to be more direct and harsh but chose to keep calm and say that if you are guilty of acting like a child, being a jerk just because you can, or if you simply get off on arguing for the sake of arguing then maybe the site isn’t for you. Look into a debate club.