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How to Comment on Social Media

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 07, 2024

Rebecca Solnit with a cheeky & hilarious piece on How to Comment on Social Media.

1) Do not read the whole original post or what it links to, which will dilute the purity of your response and reduce your chances of rebuking the poster for not mentioning anything they might’ve mentioned/written a book on/devoted their life to. Listening/reading delays your reaction time, and as with other sports, speed is of the essence.

7) If you’re a man and that O.P. is a woman, her facts are feelings and your feelings are facts, and those forty-seven increasingly lengthy responses you fired off were clearly a rational reaction. If she reacted negatively to them, do not forget to rebuke her for being emotional.

I hate to say it, but the reason I am not enjoying Mastodon so much these days is because I see stuff like this on there regularly:

9) Which is why the person who said, or rather typed, offhandedly “people should bike more” really means all people need to bike everywhere under all circumstances and is callously indifferent to people who: live in Siberia and can’t bike through -40 blizzards; are physically unable to cycle; can’t afford bikes; and let us not forget those who have bicycle-related trauma. Which is why anyone who could say “people should bike more” is a fascist who needs crushing.

🎯

Discussion  4 comments

Brady J. Frey

This is great. I've struggled to be on social media after I abandoned facebook, then twitter, then just about everything else (including commenting here, though this seems like a healthy environment you're curating). Social media comments seem like amplified versions of other blocks to listening: often rehearsing, filtering, judging, mind reading, or outright derailing. Some of it reminds me of Senate hearings with quick quip sparring in the hopes for a viral sound bite. When I first started on forums in the 90s, we certainly had some of this, but there were feelings of community building. That ebbs and flows (and certainly what I choose to make of it), but I'm not quite sure what the point is for me to comment online when it feels transactional compared to tangible relationships.

Especially LinkedIn. That's a smorgusboard of hot takes, humble brags, and reposting your own post to ask "Agree?". It used to be a place I connected to do networking, not it's overclaiming.

Lisa S.

OMG LinkedIn is so bad, I agree. It's just, I did this non-job related thing that signals my values, and yet I am relating it to my job, and you should approve. I look there sometimes, because I'm on so little social media these days, but every time I look there, after about 2 seconds I turn my head and shut it off.

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Broccoli of Doom

I didn't read the post, but I feel like there should really be more attention paid to the unfair criticisms of cis-male posting of all the relevant facts!

Lisa S.

Because of course! If you haven't read the post, you have all kinds of thoughts... :)

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