The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - The Worst LJ Commenting
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The Worst LJ Commenting|
Last week, I asked what the most annoying LJ habit was, and followed it up with a poll to verify it. According to your responses, the most annoying type of LJ entry was…
"Auditions" (i.e., "Comment now or I shoot your LiveJournal account!"), followed cloesly by bad grammer and spelling.
The post, however, had an interesting subsection, where it turned out that a lot of people hated *hugs* comments. For those of you who've never gotten one, they arrive in flocks when you post an entry about how your brother just suffocated in the process of an attempted puppy-raping. You say you're feeling terrible about the death (and feeling even worse about the puppy), and then comes the one-liner comment:
Now, I don't mind them. Frankly, when Tommy died, I was a little annoyed by the myriad of ways real-life people attempted to console me, because really they couldn't. I felt shitty because of something that had happened and could not be changed, and there were no words that would somehow ease my passage. I would have loved people to come up, say "Hugs!" and walk away, all the essential things having been said.
But apparently this vexes people. Which raises a second question:
What's the most annoying LJ comment?
Me? I'm actually split, and God forbid this gets to a poll because I can't determine which is worse. There are two types of comments that drive me crazy — neither of which I get all that often, thank God.
1) Drive-by hatings. I post something short and thrilled, like "I love oatmeal" or "Man, Galaxy Quest is the best movie ever." And someone posts, "I fucking hate that movie. The actors suck, and the jokes aren't funny."
Why the hell would you take the time to piss on someone's enjoyment?
Now, don't get me wrong; I don't expect sunny comments when I'm reviewing a movie, because a review is a dissection of what I like about it. In that case, I'm expecting you to weigh in with your opinion, because I find that interesting. In fact, most of the time this blog is dedicated to open discussion, since I like debate. (I'm actually proud that a huge creationism/evolution discussion is currently going on, most of it civil, albeit with the creationism side very one-sided.)
But I've said, "Hey, I really like X," in a post that's mostly enthusiasm about my love of X, it just seems petty to walk up and go, "WELL, I HATE IT!" I'm loathe to post about the last reality show I watched, because I know some idiot will go off on an unrelated tirade about how terrible, terrible all reality shows are and why they're the death of civilization.
To me, it comes of as if you dislike X so much that you have to kick 'em down a notch if someone else does. That seems petty.
2) Anonymous Arguments. Actually, I don't mind the anonymous flames, because they're pretty amusing. Most of 'em are pretty clueless, especially when they criticize me for my hippie hair (old icons, folks; I just miss that bad hairdo) or — in what may be my favorite comment ever — my "tight-assed, sex-hating Christian outlook."
But I do hate it when someone takes a controversial outlook and does so anonymously. It's the act of a coward, saying, "I don't want anyone to associate my name with this debate, but I want to make these points anyway." Not coincidentally, these anonymous, controversial posts are much more likely to make wide, sweeping accusations about my intentions.
Usually, people who defend the anonymous folks have two points of defense: a) we're all on the Internet, so identity doesn't matter, and b) points of view should be neutral.
a) is bullshit, pure and simple. If identity didn't matter, then these people wouldn't be logging out of LJ to present their point of view (and they are LJ people). Your internet identity is fragile, but it is a collection of views that can be traced back to one person. Who you are matters. I've been meaning to make an Onion-style parody for a while, entitled "ANONYMOUS VOICE CLAIMS 'I HAVE A DREAM' AT NEGRO RALLY; African-Americans everywhere say, 'That faceless voice hiding in a shed inspired me'."
B's a little trickier, since a good argument should technically require no point of view…. but that is also a lie. When I speak of racial matters, what I say is clearly informed by the fact that I'm white. When I speak of sexual matters, you should probably know I'm a guy. Usually, the anonymous posters only come out of the woodwork for the social issues, usually to tell me how I don't know anything because I am a member of group X.
Furthermore, nobody's good enough to post their entire viewpoint in three paragraphs. Knowing who you are allows me to fill in the gaps, inferring motive where it is not present. If you spend your entire journal posting about how Bush conspired with JFK's ghost to create 9/11, chances are I don't have to follow up on the facts you've presented no matter how compelling they sound.
(With that comes the other moan, of course: People stop listening to me when they find out I'm a JFK nut! Well, either you're that fucking crazy and people are right not to listen to you… or you need to shatter the stereotypes of JFK nuts, enduring more shit because of your asshole brethren. It's not an excuse to go anonymous.)
Now, I'm going to ask you what your most-hated comment is in a moment, but first a word from cubes, who asked two very good questions:
1. (You want) No psychodrama... except for bashing other people's bad habits.
2. If you want no psychodrama, why in hell do you keep reading journals that annoy you?
Good questions. #2 is easy; I check out a lot of people by following comment links and so forth, and I don't know what they're like until I get there. I don't friend them, but that doesn't stop me from seeing what they write. (Furthermore, as I specified in the first post, sometimes Eeyore takes a while to figure out.)
As for #1, you may note that "Long, uncut posts" got fifty votes. Apparently, I'm annoying. And people tell me all the time that I should use LJ-cuts, and have no problem informing me that it's a pain in their ass and I should stop. This is all done without psychodrama.
I think it's entirely possible (and even reasonable) to say, "That's a pretty rude/irritating behavior" without it degenerating into personal attacks. I've actually had to say to an employee of mine, "You need to use deodorant" and it didn't go badly. The trick is to express concern at the behavior, not the person. Otherwise, the issue is to never discuss truly odious habits for fear of offending someone, which strikes me as a fine path to madness.
And also, I'm still not LJ-cutting. Why? Because I know it is irritating to some, but it is my journal. I thank you for bringing it to my attention; I disagree. (However, I didn't know that *hugs* were irritating to some, and will take note of those people so I do not offend them in the future. Such is the value of open discussion.)
Thus, as the rules have been before, there are to be no snarks at anyone, not even in a "She knows who she is" way. (Or even "That's annoying" in response to someone else's comment.) No names are to be mentioned….but what comment is your least-favorite feedback?
My least favorite comment is still the one where everything in my life transforms into something that happened in your life. Along the lines of "Wow, your brother just killed your puppy with his car. I know how that feels. That reminds me of the time I squished my Han Solo action figure by accident, and..."
I hate those people.
People like to talk about themselves, it's only natural. I get where you're coming from, but then I know I do the exact same thing, so I can't be too judgmental :)
I'm working hard to resist the temptation to respond to this entry with a simple "*hugs*."
I got one the other day from a random person who said "I found your journal because we have $RANDOM_THING in common. Some of it's okay."
Gee, thanks, random stranger! I live for the days when people drive by and throw out vague, passive-aggressive back-handed compliments!
Oh, but there are far, far bigger LJ sins. My least favorite type of comment doesn't involve the people who say nasty, unconstructively critical, or back-handed things about me. It's the ones who show up, see that someone they don't like has left a comment, and take that opportunity to bash them for something completely unrelated to my journal or post. Other people's psychodrama? Even more annoying than my own.
I've come across friends on LJ that I've fallen out of contact with, mentioned it on LJ...
And then had others comment on how annoying the person was.
Um, dumbass much? Way to create drama for me.
icon love. now, mostly this is in comments to other people's journals as none of my icons are that exciting. but i hate following a link to find out what someone thought about a post, only to see a comment about the icon instead.
Is there some sort of etiquette for this? If I think an icon's cool, I'll tell someone. But I'll wait until there's at least 2 or 3 comments before I do.
Well, I have not really been here long enough to get a good feel for LJ comments, but I know I can speak from experience on many forums and websites when I say the answer that just annoys me ot no end is a single smily. At least put something with it so I know how you intended it to be contrued! :)
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm guilty of this, but only because I'm one of those people who wants to make sure if somebody comments in my journal, that they get a response from me. Sometimes, if I read a comment and the only thought/emotion it elicited from me was a smile, that's all I'll post in response.
Comments where it's clear the commenter just didn't read the post at all. I write out this post, and someone replies with "Hey, how about [utterly obvious thing] or [thing you already mentioned]?" I'm always tempted to retort, "NO SHIT, SHERLOCK."
Hence why sometimes my posts are longer'n they'd be otherwise - I'm busy writing out disclaimers and explaining everything, because jesus fuck, I don't want people to go, "Well, if you're using Windows..." Hi! I mentioned the system tray! Does the Mac have a system tray? Does any part of this sound like I was talking about my iBook?
I've done this myself, so it's not like I feel special or anything. I can sometimes gloss over things or misread things. I have the common decency to feel embarrassed and sorrygise, though.
A-fucking-MEN. I'll post a problem and I'll say, "I've already tried X and Y; they didn't work." And someone invariably comments saying, "you should try X."
Request for friending. ("Hi! You looked interesting so I added you. Friend me back, please!!!!!!!")
It's worse in netspeak. ("...u r cool. frend me back plzthkxbye!!!!")
I might add that it seems excessively stupid when people do it to you or rollick
or someone who writes on your bio page that you do not friend everyone back and explain why.
followed cloesly by bad grammer and spelling
It had to be said. ;)
I thought that might have been intentional.
SOmeone used to drive by hate most of my comments. That person was an extremely angry individual and the comments used to drive me insane. Especially since that person would just say something negative then not respond to and follow up questions/comments. I think the comments would have been anonymous if I hadn't turned them off.
When I write a post looking for advice or comments about a specific issue, and people reply about the wrong issue.
Me: "When I was stuck in rush hour driving in to work today, I was thinking about how Roy Lichtenstein is pretty much an untalented hack. Are there any famous artists out there that you absolutely loathe?"
Comment: "OMG traffic sux!!"
A-men. If you're going to comment on my LJ, read the damn entry and respond to what I'm talking about!
Overall 'I'll put you in my prayers' is my least favourite kind of comment. Not the nut-job 'I'll pray for your soul' kind but the 'I know things are rough and I'm going to ask god to help you' kind.
Not because I don't appreciate the sentiment, I do, but because they make me feel rather uncomfortable. I always want to say that I think it's a total waste of time praying for me as I believe this god dude doesn't exist. However, I can't say that, because a) I don't like to trample over the good intentions of people who are just trying to help and b) because they obviously do believe it and I don't like to trample over other people's world-views (although it kinda makes me feel as though mine is being trampled on.)
Drive-by hatings are up there, but I've only ever had one. Someone, who I share no LJ links at all with, dropped in to say that I 'really need to get rid of my icon (the one I'm using now) as it scares everyone. At first I though 'tough titty to you fish-face' but then I thought who the hell is 'everyone' anyway?. Paranoia ensued.
That's why it's best to say to that scenario is 'you're in my thoughts.' or 'good vibe chicken soup' or some such.
When you write something vaguely sad/depressing/whatever, and people reply with something along the lines of 'erm, err... I'm sorry, I don't know what to say. God, I'm crap at this'. Why bother posting?!
Equally, sarcastic or mean replies to the same sort of post. Really no need, is there.
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)|| |
Why bother posting?!
'cause you feel like you should say *something* (especially if you're close to the person), and the lack of saying anything would give the wrong impression?
I dunno. I'm guilty of those types of replies (thankfully not often).
Actually I don't mind the *hugs* comments - receiving them or giving them.
Because I know that sometimes someone wants to offer support or let you know they hear you, but they have nothing really to say. A hug is something simple and nice, and gets the message across without you having to say "Hey, I don't know what to say, but I'm sorry your life is shit right now" or something similar.
I'm a huggy-feely person in person, so even that's not a big deal, but online ... what harm can an online hug do?
Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Just an opinion, you know?
Thanks for posting a summary of the poll results, it does seem that often you fill out a poll and never hear "the rest of the story".
Actually, this is pretty much exactly what I was going to say about the *hugs* thing too. Well said. :)
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)|| |
Why do you hate anonymous arguments? If you do not allow anonymous arguments, then you are stopping people like me from responding to your articles.
Technically, I am an livejournal user. I have an account which I have not posted in for about a year. However, I do not really wish for you to associate my arguments with my LJ because most of what I wrote in it was whiny crap that I really do not wish to inflict upon others. If you take that as a representation of me, you will lose respect for my arguments. I do not want that to happen.
Also, I did not log out to post this. I do not log in to LJ to read.
-SFC on Starcity
I thought that it would be slightly amusing to leave this comment anonymous but I do not wish to offend. :P
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)|| |
i hate it when two people who clearly don't like each other start an arugument or worse, continue an ongoing argument by posting jabs and pointed remarks masked as comments to a third-party's post. if someone wants to start trouble, i prefer they do it on their own pages and not mine.
(much like your request for people refraining from saying, "SHE knows who she is!")
This is the kind of commenting that has made me the angriest--seeing people snarking--even if it's about someone who I also don't like--is so seventh grade.
This is sort of tangential, as it's not so much comments as actual posts that I hate. Six or eight months ago I had someone on my friends list who repeatedly made posts addressed to me but addressed to the air ("I hate when people make me doubt myself"). WTF, if I've made you feel bad, why not tell ME? That might help.
I don't have a problem with *hugs* either. It's nice to know people care about whatever you've vented about, and sometimes people don't have anything more specifically sympathetic to say than *hugs* = "I'm here, have a hug".
Oddly, I'm annoyed by *hugs* but not by "I'm here, have a hug." I couldn't tell you why. Maybe I just feel like someone cares more deeply if they care enough to send full sentences. I'd feel jipped if I opened a (non-joke) Hallmark card and read only *hugs*.
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)|| |
I dislike it when people project their own passionate feelings onto my posts. If I am calmly considering a subject, being told that obviously I hate X or I'm afraid of y is annoying. It's a technique that distracts from the argument, and it doesn't actually address the claims I'm discussing.
Also I just hate being told what I feel by someone who doesn't have a clue about my feelings.
I know exactly what you mean! This drives me insane IRL too. I once was having a discussion with someone where mostly I disagreed with everything they said. At one point I nodded in agreement with ONE thing they said-
And they actually looked at me and told me that I meant something other than agreement by that nod.
Person X: "... and the media thinks people are stupid.."
Me: *nodding about the media thinking people in general are stupid*
Person X: "See! YOU think people are STUPID!"
Me: "No, I was agreeing with you about the media."
Person X: "No you weren't. You were nodding about people being stupid, because you think you're smarter than everyone."
Me: "Um, I think I know better than you what I mean. Don't put words in my mouth."
Person X: "I know what that body language means, don't try to backtrack!"
For some reason, while it drives me bonkers online, I think I expect it more and handle it better in an online context. IRL, it's just insanity-inspiring. Or fear-inspiring, take your pick. :)
Personally, I don't mind getting the *hugs* comments but yet I refuse to leave them for people. All the time, I see people that I want to post telling them that I feel for them....but it seems like I have two choices: give them a well-thought-out post trying to comfort them that shows that I put the effort in that you put in when you care....or be the third person to post something like *hugs*. Because I'm horrible at writing the thought-out posts for these things (not sure what to say) and I don't want to go out the cheap route, I either wait until I talk to them directly (if I know them) or remain silent and hope they just know that I care......which I know they can't know.
As far as the long LJ entries with no cuts, I find them a little annoying but more power to you. If it really bothered me, I could always leave. I'm not leaving, so it must not bother me too much.
or be the third person to post something like *hugs*.
The trick there is to be clever about it. Like, *joins in the hugging $ljuser party* or *adds more hugs to the growing pile* and so forth.
"lol"...and that's it. What is the point?
I think it's just their way of saying "This is hereby a notification that I read your post, and that I have not completely abandoned you, although I have nothing to say on the topic."
It is annoying, though. :(
the drive-by-hatings, more specifically the thing about pissing on your parade, are pretty annoying. not that it happens often in my journal, i guess i just have a kick ass friends list or something...
but if you pressed me i'd say comments by someone who doesn't know what the hell they're talking about, like for example: you post about, say, how stressful some family situation is, and then i post a comment telling you to stop whining about fatherhood (or anything similar) when i'm single and don't know diddlysquat about being a dad, to pick one example. you know, clueless jackass commenting by clueless jackasses. if you don't understand, then shut up. :-P
I don't use *hugs* because I'm uncomfortable saying that. Hell, I don't know most people on LJ well enough to hug them in person - why would I insinuate that I would e-hug them?
I understand the LJ and internet cultural meaning, however, and might use it in certain circumstances (honestly not knowing what to say; a person I would hug in real-life; or with someone who I feel specifically needs to get that as feedback - usually the people who have used that with me or seem to appreciate them).
I'd much rather say what I mean - as in: "I'm so sorry", "Best wishes to you", "Get well soon", "Here's my e-mail/phone number in case you'd like to talk", or "You have my support on this".
Easily the most annoying comment, to me, is "First post!" or "First comment!"
Right behind that is "me too", or variations on the theme.
Well now I just feel bad. :) Not that I got the first comment this time. Oddly enough, I only do it on this journal- to him. And I've only claimed the prize twice.
It's a game at that point- and I normally only do it when he posts about something equally as silly. So I'll type "First post!" and then if I actually make it first- I'll respond to my own comment with a real one.
If I make it second or third- I lament on my noobness- and then make a real comment on the issue.
And the true reason for the rush to first post on this journal? Because EVERYONE reads it- before super scrolly mode.
Not that you were talking about me- eerr... I'm feeling comment shyness now.
But, I thinkyour pick is a good one- even though I participate.
CRICKETS: The Dreaded Un-Comment.
Okay, this probably isn't going to be something that happens to you much, with as many readers as you have.
But me? I'll take yer *hugs*, your flames, your drive-by hate and any typos you can throw at me.
For me, the worst comment is what I think of as *crickets*.
I'm not talking about when you make a pointless throwaway post and no one responds-- I don't care about that. I'm talking about the deeper posts. You know, when you put heart and soul into a post, really taking the time to focus on something that shaped who you are... For example, the time you were traumatized by your ninja uncle in his silk ladies' lingere who threw honey on you and tied you to an anthill while he raped your puppy and how that affected your current relationships, how you grew from that experience and learned to deal with that painful memory... THOSE kinds of posts, that are very personal and introspective and are too often met by a whole lot of silence.
I hate that more than anything.
I'd rather have a bazillion *hugs* or flames than silence. Because then at least I know that someone read it and maybe it affected them on some level. I even make an extra effort to try to respond to my LJ friends if they write something like that, just so they know I'm listening. Even if it's only the dreaded *hug* comment. So they know they touched someone, and that while maybe I'm at a loss for something to say, I do care, and I heard them.
Now, I know it's my journal, blah blah blah and all... but if it's something I'm only writing for me and I really, truly don't care about feedback and don't give a rat's arse what you think, I'm going to post it privately.
When it's open to the public or friends, it's because I'd like to know what you think about what I said. Or I wanted to share it with you. I know this makes me a comment 'ho, but I don't care. Darn it, I'd like to know if you read it and what you thought -- if anything -- if I took the time to write something very very personal and then share it with you.
Wow, that wasn't intended to be so rant-y. Sorry. ;)
Re: CRICKETS: The Dreaded Un-Comment.
I get some of that. Mostly it happens when I'm talking about a situation that most people haven't experienced before, or that *everyone* has experienced before (like now, getting my own apartment and job and living away from home for the first time). I see posts like the second in other people's journals, and all I can do is smile and think "just keep pushing past, and things will get better." But I doubt that's what people want to hear when they're going through a tough time in their life, so I mostly just shut up. Posts of the first kind get more of a "Holy fuck, I have no idea how to deal with that." The example that you talked about above would probably fall under that category. How do you respond to that kind of deep, introspective, intensely personal kind of post? Expecially when it's nigh-on impossible to understand how the poster feels because you have never been through any situation that's even vaguely similar? People don't know what to say, so they say nothing at all.
Re: LJ-Cuts. The only reasons I see to have the in there are for *reasonable* spoiler guards, or *wide* images. I have a friend whom regularly posts pictures, without scaling them down at all. So, I wind up with a 2048x1280 image, or whatever. My monitor runs at 1280x1024. This means that, due to the way that LJ renders pages, all of the posts on my friends page are now twice as wide as the screen, requiring sidescrolling to read all of them.
|Date:||June 3rd, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC)|| |
I hate those, too. I found out the Generator style in S1 as my Friends page cuts that down, though, as it puts each post in a separate box. I only have to side-scroll for the offender's post. Everyone else is nicely compact.
I generally don't like it when people cut sections of text, unless it's something totally off-topic from what they were talking about earlier. I generally like to read everything on my friend's page, and it's a minor annoyance having to click the link and resume on a page with totally different formatting. I understand, and for the most part support, cutting large images since they will occasionally screw up my Friend's Page layout, but there's really no reason to cut text. That's why God gave us PageUp and PageDown.
On a side note, I really hate it when people enter something like ASDFASDFASDFFASDFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF as their title, as it sends my friends page all to hell, and I can't make it go away until 20 more entries have been entered by friends. :(
I don't mind cuts at all, but I also tend to have RSI-type injuries in my wrist and in my scroll finger, so on some days, minimizing the amount of scrolling is something I actively try to do. (What? Don't read LJ on those days? Heretic!) I just want descriptive text in the cut tag or before it, so I can see whether it's worth my time because they've continued a funny story, or whether I can skip it with impunity because it's just blather about whatever television they watched or whatever dream they had last night.