Among other things, the internet is a medium for communication. Blogs are one of the those outlets for communication. I have been reading blogs for the past 7 years, and I have had a blog for the past 6 years. One thing I love and hate about blogs are blog comments. I love them because they are opportunities for good discussion, interaction, and information. I hate them because sometimes the comment threads never end and people simply go back and forth debating with very little accomplished. Then, when comments are shut off on posts, people begin to think that blogger isn’t open-minded or has something to hide (it’s a power move).
Most often, bloggers don’t shut off comments because they are not open-minded, but because the comments have gotten ugly. After having ignored comments on so many posts and articles that I have read online and then returning back to read them selectively, it occurred to me that blog posts can reveal our hearts in profound ways. Duh, call me “Captain Obvious” for this “stunning revelation”.
As someone who is trying to understand what motivates people, I’ve simply ignored blog comments as a window into this because I often don’t like what I see. Friction-filled blog comments (and reality shows) have had a repulsive effect on me. Why? Do I think I am better than these people? Is it because I don’t feel that I have an answer? Is it because I do feel that I have an answer but won’t be heard? Most of the time I simply can’t stand the poor ways in which some people communicate with each other. It is ugly, and I don’t like to look at ugly things.
Of course, without any voices narrating the comments, I am left to narrate them the best I can. Either way, blog comments are reactions, and reactions are large windows into people’s souls. So if we care about what motivates people, we have something to learn – especially when it gets ugly. So if you have time, perhaps keep this in mind the next time you see a long comment thread.