Monday, February 18, 2013

Dealing with Rage

Fr. Dwight Longnecker has some spectacular words on dealing with what he calls "Demonic Rage" on internet sites by commenters who are apparently deluded and/or insane and post comments dripping with irrational vitriol.

 I also don't tend post anything particularly polarizing or inflammatory on this blog, but I have on occasion had comments that are near this level. I usually just delete them and move on, but they do crop up from time to time.  And some of those comments that crop up from time to time are not actually people, just bots that are pre-set computer programs that some demented hacker somewhere set up that just go around spewing their bilge on every website that they can find in online directories.

There is a great term for such people who actually do this kind of behavior: internet trolls.The New Atheists are particularly prone at doing this, as are certain strands of Christians sadly. Usually people are anonymous in user comments, so they can often get away with it, or at least think they do.

Everybody fires off e-mails occasionally in anger without thinking things through, but a lot of the just sheer garbage on various websites in terms of user comments is utterly amazing. I have never understood this phenomenon of needing to go online and completely bash an article or person with illogical rants. Maybe it is some sociological need from some people to feel like they are being heard because no one in their real life pays any attention to them. I, as a policy, try hard to avoid reading user comments on internet sites, particularly having to do with anything religious or (in particular) political. I purposely avoid some perfectly fine blogs and news websites that have good content but are just ruined by the sheer level of comments that contain what we call down South a big crock of hooey.

I thought about linking to Brad Paisley's "So Much Cooler Online" music video here, but it does have just enough off-color innuendos that I wasn't quite comfortable posting it on my G rated blog, but for those who are morbidly curious, you can find it on Youtube.

I think I may try to take Fr. Longnecker's advice: just laugh. Otherwise, I might have to start believing in the total depravity of man. That or what my grandmother always said, "Boy, just don't argue with idiots. The only thing that gets accomplished is that you get dragged down to their level and you become one."

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