The old saying goes, “There are two things you never talk about, politics and religion.” This rule is good for anybody to follow if they can’t maintain a state of calm when these topics are brought up. But when happens when the national conversation is about nothing but these two, and other equally controversial, topics? You get a mess of aggression and hate.
One of the downsides, in my opinion, to posting on social networking sites is the amount of feedback that is possible. I don’t know if it is human nature or not, it makes since to me that it would be, but when a person’s face is removed form the conversational equation there is a wall that is lifted. This has been a problem with phone calls for a long time, imagine the poor inbound telemarketer getting chewed out by a customer that doesn’t like the rules to a warranty they just purchased, it gets ugly quick. Now add to this natural human, oh lets call it, lack of couth and put it into a world where most of the communication happening among communities (because online community is a thing and there is a huge number of members) and a major problem is created. It seems to me that it has come to a point where there is almost a pack mentality. It’s cool to be the witty guy that tells whoever that their opinions are dumb and invalid. A story gets posted on Facebook and the masses jump on the comment train to give their two cents. Those commenters are followed by the vultures who fuel the fire of argument. Pulling up the rear are the trolls who do nothing but find feeds where they can leave a particularly nasty, rude, or otherwise controversial comment just to watch the others swarm in and react to it. Think about it, this happens on just about every news post from every news organization on every social media networking site. This kind of aggressive communication is most definitely a weakness in this medium of communication.