The Comment Section

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

(From A Psalm of Life, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow)

This is Longfellow basically telling y’all that life is short so don’t waste it. Yesterday, I found myself engaging in a debate on social media again. Sometimes, I get by with a shrug of my shoulder and move on. But there are times when I let it get to me. Yesterday was the latter. Which sucks because it ruins my day completely. Do you remember when you started caring about politics? I was thinking about that on Sunday when I was strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I remember going to Arizona with my hubby years ago and engaging with the service car driver about American politics. Fortunately for me, we shared the same opinions. Her son was serving in the military and was gay. (I was surprised when she shared this to me as well). Her family was happy that President Barrack Obama was pursuing the elimination of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” rule. I don’t really remember how we got started talking about politics, to be honest. Anyway, just a great example of why we shouldn’t readily dismiss a person because of their political opinions. You don’t know who’s behind the keyboard or their motivation as to why they voted one way or another.

I think it was Lin-Manuel who said as a reminder to “not get stuck in the comment section of your daily life”. And the worst way to do that is to waste a beautiful day in a war of words with some unknown person hundreds of miles away from you.

  • I try to avoid conflict if I can! I’m not big on politics either!!

  • Even though I usually have capital O “Opinions” about most things people are discussing vehemently on twitter (politics, representation, etc.) I try really hard not to wade in because it always gets me down. It’s so hard to resist when people are being awful, though!

  • I feel like the comment section is a lot more dangerous than we think it is, and it’s funny how we carry it around with us in daily life as well. That was a good quote – it has a lot of truth to it.

  • Huuuugs. <3 Lovely post sweetie. Hope you are doing better about it all 🙂 I try my best not to look for things to argue about on twitter, lol.. always end up feeling awful when I do discuss on twitter :

    • Lol. Yes, I know you’ve had a few run-ins. 😀 Have a great weekend, hun!

  • Excellent post, Joy. I don’t get worked up over strangers, but it bugs me more when it’s people I care about being ignorant.

    • Yassss. That’s even worse. I know this guy (ex-friend) who is a raging Trumpaholic that I had unfriend because I couldn’t stand the ignorance any longer. Does that make me a bad person? The fact that I would let politics get in the way of friendship? Yes. Yes. But I don’t GAF. LOL.

  • That’s such an important reminder to not get so caught up in things!

    • Yep. Essentially, I wrote it more so for myself. Lol.

  • Politics is a subject that seems to really have the ability to cause a lot of hard feelings. I have opinions and I vote in every single election as does my spouse but I don’t talk about my beliefs outside of my house. I had 2 uncles get so mad at each other over an election that they refused to speak to each other for a very long time. I decided not to engage with anyone after that.

    I do think that people who speak out are great and it is important but it can cause more grief than I am willing to deal with. I listen and I vote….and hope that some of the people I see online forget to go to the polls 🙂

    • It definitely escalated in the last couple of years for sure. But thanks, America. I care more now about the world outside of my home instead of being a passive observer.

  • Politics affect people’s lives so never feel bad for caring. I agree, however, that we shouldn’t get caught up in the comment section of life either. People think you are entitled to their opinion, but not necessarily the other way around. Those are the people to avoid. I narrowly avoided this in the past week, but sometimes it is hard and sometimes, like you, I can shrug it off. I think it can be a hard balance to speak out and when to let it go.

    A few years ago I had a honest debate with a person who did not share my same view. We were able to listen to each other, learn from it, gain understanding but neither of us changed our minds. We felt better from the discussion instead of worse. I don’t remember what it was about specifically, only the surprise in both of us to have come away better than we started. I think the key was that we both wanted to understand the other and not HAVE to have the other one change their mind. It can work, but unfortunately it is unusual.

    • See? That’s what I try to do. Keep my cool and not stoop to the level of the trolls on social media. It really bugs them more when they can’t get a rise out of me. Lol.

  • shootingstarsmag

    Great post. It can be hard to read something that you feel so strongly about – on the other side, usually- and not say anything. I try to stay out of arguments online though because it would really stress me out.


    • It is stressful! Sometimes, I wish I didn’t care so much. Lol.

  • There is nothing quite like political trolls online and they are always predominately white men who are more than likely living at home in their mum’s basement. I’ve been trolled before by grown assed men lecturing me on being a woman, the price of tampons and basically how dare my husband let me out of the kitchen. Every so often there’s one asshole that I allow to upset me but then it fuels me to get out there and keep going. It’s a viscous cycle isn’t it. People seem to think that hiding behind a screen is a free pass to treat people like shit.

    • Oh, that is the most maddening thing. I like when I get lectured on how to be me, most of all. Because, you know. They know more. /sarcasm. But I long since learned that I can’t just ignore them. I have to stand up for myself so even if the best thing to do is to ignore them, I just can’t.

  • It’s crazy how reading an effectively anonymous rant online will get me more riled up than if I hear a person saying the same things face to face. I’m far more rational politically in person than from behind a keyboard so these days I just stay clear of charged Comments.
    Ailyn’s remark here is sobering though. I appreciate having the freedom to criticise the Tory ideology.

    • I do, too. Truly. And I usually have a tougher skin some days. But some days, I swear I’m vibrating with anger.

  • It’s so hard not to speak up, I get it. I have to try really hard some days to bite my tongue and not engage with people. I know at the end of the day it’s not worth it, because most of those people you’re engaging with will never change their way of thinking no matter how hard you try.

    • Isn’t that the truth. Facts used to matter but not anymore. Ideologies seem to be the social and political currency everyone’s using nowadays.

  • Occasionally I find myself wasting precious moments of my life reading inane comments on some news article and then I catch myself and click away.

    • You have way more patience and self-control than I. I have a hard time walking away. Lol.

  • Jasprit

    I know what you mean Joy, there is so much that I feel and want to say on Twitter, but I’m one of those scared people that just holds back, only because I don’t want to get all ranty and kick off with people. Also I’m one of those people that tends to get affected by everything afterwards. But go you fir standing your ground!

    • Some days, I wish I can hold back. But the outspoken part of me can’t. :/

  • Jazmen Greene

    I avoid all of that foolishness because I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter–which is where it seems to occur the most. And, not only that, I just don’t engage. As long as you don’t come for me, I just grab my popcorn and enjoy the foolery. Lol!

    • Lol. I wish I can be like that. Because it ain’t fun diving into the chasm of social media feeding frenzy, i tell ya.

  • Karen

    My first foray into blogging was actually a political blog. I LOVED talking about politics and debating. But it really morphed into this beast of hatred and I just don’t bother engaging anymore.

    I’ve found that you’re not going change anyone’s mind with your life changing tweet (although I do think tweeting sometimes changes things – especially with companies and politicians to show momentum) and I think a lot of it is meant to spin people up. A lot of these people engaging in fights are eggs and it’s just not worth it to me to ruin my day.

    If I feel disgusted or angry I get offline, fume and then try to do something more productive about whatever has me spun up.

    For What It’s Worth

    • That’s so cool, Karen. It is fun being on a debate but only if I’m on the winning side of the argument. LOL.

  • Oh the drama, sigh. So much these days

  • kindlemom1

    Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the drama and even the hate. So sorry you were sucked in and it ruined your day, sometimes you really do need to make a stand and others just bite your tongue and let it go. 😉

    • Some days they’re easy to ignore but most of the time, I can’t sit idly by.

  • I actually avoid politics as much as possible – lately I think it can be really toxic, and with the latest election that went by in the US, it’s gone really toxic in my humble opinion. There’s not a day that I go by without someone talking about politics and someone starting something because of that.

    Most of the time I prefer to keep quiet and keep my thoughts to myself, even with the issues that matter to me.

    ~Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

  • I can relate. I used to engage others on social media regarding politics and I would be quite vociferous about certain things. I would get heated as well. The past two years I stopped. I still tend to hastily bang out a comment under some politically charged post and then end up deleting it instead of posting. I’ve done that a hundred times or so – training myself to just move on.

    • Honestly, I don’t even know why I try. It’s not like they’re going to change their way of thinking. Ted Koppel said it succinctly when he told that Fox News guy that he is serving a population who puts more importance to ideologies than facts.

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    This is a great post. You should try living over here and dealing with some of the people that voted for “him.” It’s insane. Did you see the latest regarding Spicer? OMG. Our nation is really divided on most things and it’s upsetting. Fortunately, I live in an area (on the East Coast) where mostly people are Democrats, but it’s always surprising to find out a family member or a long-time friend voted for HIM and is secretly a racist/sexist/etc. I have lost friendships over it. It’s upsetting. Anyway, I love that quote from Lin-Mauel. So, so true!

    • OH GOD. I can’t even imagine. Americans are directly affected with the stupid policies he’s implenting on a daily basis. And that latest Spicer gaffe is unfortunately not going to be the last. As long as this administration is in power, more foolishness is bound to occur.

  • I’m not very vocal about politics IRL because it’s not my place, (but I am about my beliefs in civil rights which could be politics I guess) but on the internet, I’m all about it. I think it’s important especially given how uneducated most people are when it comes to decision making and voting and their rights. I tend to get lost in comments sections and it riles me up, and sours my mood, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.

  • coming from a country where criticizing your ‘appointed leader’ will mean you disappear quietly without a trace, I think being able to talk about politics is a kind of freedom. Even though it can be upsetting.

    • <3. We are lucky with the freedom we are afforded for sure.

  • I know and I swore I wasn’t going to get involved in this election on Facebook, but then things just got so crazy and I couldn’t help it. I got unfriended by a few, but many more I know much better now as we share the same opinions.This presidency and election is going to be a black mark on the history of the U.S. I just hope he doesn’t get us in a war before we can vote him out! Sometimes Joy, you just have to stick up for your beliefs and you are right, it pretty much ruined my day every time 🙂

    • It’s hard not to stay quiet, right? Because as soon as you give it a pass is a step towards accepting their ‘alternative facts’.