6 mins read

Internet comment etiquette to improve your social experience

Sometimes the Internet can seem like a pretty intimidating place. No matter what you post, there will be people watching and commenting. And many people feel much safer saying things they normally wouldn’t when they’re sitting in front of a screen rather than in front of a real person. Especially if the type of social media they use is one that gives them a sense of anonymity.

However, there are ways to comment online that can give you a stress-free experience. Even if someone is intentionally trying to awaken something, they don’t have to get caught up in it. There is enough stress in the world, the Internet does not need to be another source of stress.

Think before you post

Before publishing any type of post on the Internet, it can be helpful to think ahead of time about what type of response you might get. If you post something related to controversial topics, such as politics or religion, you are very likely to get angry responses. So decide if what you want to publish is worth it.

If you’re responding to something someone has commented, think about what you’re adding to the conversation and whether it’s necessary. Being selective in what you say will help you avoid completely negative reactions from others.

If you can, ignore it

In most situations where you see a post or comment that really gets on your nerves, the best thing you can do is not get involved. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress if you don’t respond.

Most of the time it’s not worth it. Not following or blocking the person will also help you avoid those kinds of things you don’t want to see. And you’ll spend much less time upset about what’s been posted.

Also keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to change your mind on the Internet. Due to the nature of the platform, negative comments will generally only reinforce someone’s beliefs and are unlikely to change no matter the information you provide.

When people form opinions, they use cognitive biases to do so, which is not necessarily always based on logic. No one is exempt from this, so when a post or comment that you disagree with creates a reaction in you, what you can do is try to figure out why it made you feel that way and move on.

When should you respond?

However, there are times when responding to something can be a good idea. If you can provide more detailed information or insights that a person is likely to be interested in, your response can be constructive to the conversation.

Plus, if someone you know in person has posted something you disagree with, they’re more likely to listen to you. Someone you know has some kind of emotional connection to you, so they’re more likely to consider your response. A complete stranger is much less likely to care what you have to say.

How to react tactfully

So if you decide to post a comment, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, don’t let insults discourage you. There is nothing to be gained from using it and people are much less likely to take it seriously.

Even if someone insults you first, instead of returning the favor, it should be a sign that you should remove yourself from the situation.

Try to be aware of the wording you use when entering a response. On the Internet there is no tone of voice, so it is easy to take things the wrong way. If you think something sounds confusing, try wording it differently. Using emoticons can also be beneficial in these situations to show others that you can hear well.

Also, try not to be condescending, otherwise people will not be as receptive to you. Being open-minded may be the best thing to do, as long as the person you’re responding to doesn’t hate or promote something dangerous.

How to spot a troll

If you find yourself in an argument on the Internet, there is a good chance that you are dealing with someone who just wants to argue for the sake of arguing. Or they don’t care at all what you have to say and just want to annoy you.

There are several ways to catch one of these people, generally known as a troll, and once you have done so, the best thing you can do is disconnect. Trolls don’t want a real argument, they just want to provoke a reaction to feel superior or have fun.

If they keep repeating the same rhetoric or phrase over and over again, as if they’re not even reading what you’re saying, they’re probably a troll. This is also true if they are making hyperbolic and outlandish claims and suggestions or if they are trying to use the shock factor.

Using the comments tag

To avoid the stress of using the Internet, trying to engage only in constructive and positive conversation can help you immensely not only in your online life, but also in life in general.

The Internet is a great creation that allows you to talk to other people that you would never have been able to without it. Therefore, while there are certainly advantages to using the Internet, there can also be difficulties. Following these tips can help you navigate.

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