Please, Inform Your Outrage

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Atheist Revolution has something you should read.

I have a few friends in the godless non-community. One of them is Jack Vance over at Atheist Revolution.  He was and still is supportive of my absurd efforts in exposing toxic bad brain-ism.

Recently he wrote a post Uninformed Outrage: Reacting Without ReadingIf you’re a regular here at Laughing in Disbelief, you understand that half of our show is the funny stories I tell, and the other half are the comments by people who didn’t read the whole article.

Before I add any more of my own commentary, I’m going to repost Atheist Revolution’s observations in their entirety. He gave me the thumbs up, the green light, the express lane if you have 10 or under items, well, you get the idea.

Here’s a quick thought that will strike most of you as incredibly obvious: if you are going to comment on a blog post, newspaper article, YouTube video, or some other content you encounter online, read/watch it first. I know, this should go without saying. The thing is, people seem to be doing this with increasing frequency. It is now unusual for me to make it through a day without someone contacting me via social media or email to react to something I’ve shared, only to have the content of their reaction make it apparent that they never read the content to which they are reacting. This is different from someone misunderstanding what they’ve read or disagreeing with what they’ve read; this is reacting without having read it at all.

I won’t pretend to understand the motivation behind this. I’ll limit myself to commenting on what it looks like. And what it looks like is that the other party is reacting (often angrily) to the title of the post or article without bothering to read the post or article. In some cases, those who do this have admitted to me that this is exactly what they were doing. Had they bothered to read the damn post or article, they might have discovered that they agreed with it!

Why would anybody do this? Do they not realize this undermines whatever credibility they might have had, leaving almost zero chance that they’ll be taken seriously? Does any content creator give a damn about what someone who hasn’t read/viewed his or her content thinks about it? Why would anyone value a completely uninformed opinion?

I know I am not the only blogger who encounters this regularly. Godless Mom and Laughing in Disbelief have both reported similar experiences. I don’t have any objective data that it is getting worse, but it was quite rare just a couple years ago. It probably didn’t happen more than once a month. Now, it is an almost daily occurrence.

Nobody asked for my advice on the subject, but I’ll offer it anyway. If you’d like others to take you seriously and value your opinions, don’t do this. If you are inclined to share an angry comment or social media post based solely on the title of an article or post you haven’t read, you should not expect to be taken seriously. You are providing a reaction without a basis (aside from the title), and it is entirely possible that others will judge you as a moron for doing so.

I just want to point out the obvious in that the Internet is something akin to a medieval melee. For those of you unacquainted with the term, a medieval melee was when a bunch of guys beat the hell out of each other within a confined space.  Last man standing won the brass ring. The Internet is like that because we are all competing for clicks. More clicks equals more money. This is Internet capitalism 101.

Like many other manifestations of capitalism, Internet capitalism molds a consumer base of stupid. While infomercials try to get you to buy crap you don’t need, 85% of the content on the Internet is of equal poopy value. The model is to get you to click spend time on the page and engaging — not necessarily reading. Engaging often means commenting and getting into flame wars. Reading the post is secondary.

Part of my schtick here is to make fun of that model of click whoredom. Sure, I write eye catching titles to Laughing in Disbelief’s posts. However, once you’re here you’ll find nothing but an abstract comical commentary on bad brains and the mischief they engage in.

I’m a fight fire with fire sort of person.

To be honest, I am impressed with the regular readers here on Laughing in Disbelief.

You get the joke.

Best of all, many of you are patient enough to explain to newbies what’s going on here.

I appreciate that immensely.

Enough with the maudlin. Next post we’ll get back to funny.

You can follow Atheist Revolution on Twitter!

You can connect with him on Facebook, too!


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