Sometimes as a brain break, in between writing assignments, taking care of our beautiful children, loving my wife and cooking amazing burritos (if I do say so, myself), I like to run through Yahoo news for interesting stories. Okay, maybe the stories aren’t always so interesting and often seem to be originally written as eighth-grade final papers. Rather, Yahoo is a goldmine for titles that seem like they would foster fun, informative, impulsively stated comments — and I do love me a good, poorly-supported debate. After many late night forays into the meaningless, barely relevant abyss of Internet news, I’ve discovered a pattern. In every forum — Yahoo, NYT, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, etc. — I have found that there are specific types of people you will always encounter. Here are my five favorites, in no specific order:
The “Here is what I have always done that proves I am better than the idiot(s) in this story” Commenter
This person is generally easy to spot. Usually their comment starts with: “You know,…,” or “If this was me…” Sometimes, the person will even boldly confess, “Well, the way I have always done [this]…” For some reason, this person is looking for online recognition, or simply hasn’t had his or her ego massaged enough in the past 24 hours. Which is funny, because, if you click on the person’s profile and search previous comments, you can almost always find that they regularly seek this oily rubdown. Fortunately, I’m a better person than that, so I’ve never needed my ego massaged.
The Political “Corresponder”
The Political “corresponder” differs from a “correspondent” in that this person finds a way to connect the most innocuous story to the President or the currently-most-hated debate or piece of legislation. This person shines when there is an article about a neighbor’s demand for a nine-year-old’s lemonade stand to be shut down due to the impact of waste water runoff, and somehow the commenter finds a way for the situation to be the fault of the current or most recent President, John Stewart or whatever happens to be the going hated historical symbol. Comments from this person tend to be short, and range from, “F#(king liberal prez,” and “Republicans hate Lemonade Stands,” to, “The kid was probably an illegal and is stealing the soft drink money from white kids, anyhow.” The liberal media will probably shut me down for this.
The Expert in [insert current topic here]
Oh, man. This one is so transparent. The comments always start out with, “Look, for years I was a [psychiatry engineer], too, so I think I know a little bit about this subject.” We then get schooled for the next 126 lines of text, in what amounts to little more than an incoherent, grammar-ignored, curse-laden monologue. The person’s rant includes vague references, bullying tactics, and no peer reviewed citations, links, or quotes. We have no reason to trust this person’s creds, yet we still engage them in an unqualified debate. When the commenter gets called out by someone who can honestly verify their own credentials, the original commenter simply concludes with, “Yeah, well you’re all twits.” I should know; I’ve been commenting in posts for weeks!
The “Not to be Rude, But”-er
You know this person, and may even be guilty of the behavior, yourself. The comment starts with, “Not to be rude…” or “I don’t want to be mean, but…” or even “I’m not saying you’re wrong, but…” See? That “but” in there has a special purpose. It’s “The ‘But’ of Absolution;” a sort of grammatical “get out of a snarky comment free” card. By stating that one does not plan to be rude or mean, or intend to call out someone’s stupidity, and then follow it by “but,” one is absolved from the infraction. The combination says, “Look, I’m about to lay down some thick ‘n’ chunky scorn on your ass, but I don’t really mean anything by it.” Then, they scorn your ass. Not to be mean but, these people suck.
Perhaps the most reviled commenter in any forum is the person who lacks common courtesy and/or respect. I’m not talking about the woman who COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS or the guy who says something that sounds rude simply because he logged into the wrong comment section. The person in this category is the one who, whether he or she is winning or losing what is usually a long-running debate, defaults to name calling, cyber-spitting and virtual ball kicking. When one side of the conversation has deteriorated to calling people “libtard idjit” or “Right-wing knob job,” and offer colorful suggestions about what one can go do to one’s mother, the debate is over. This person no longer has a platform, and can no longer hold their own with facts. No one wants to deliberate with a commenter like this (except another Disrespecter). They take the fun out of the discussion, and the socialist pigs can frankly go f#(k themselves, as far as I’m concerned.
Are there other types you’ve encountered? Comment and let us know!