Friday, August 5, 2011

Can We Have A Civil Discussion, Please?

Is it just me or do you avoid the comments section of any news article, because you are horrified at what you might see? It's not that I'm not completely open to the sharing of opinions. I mean, c'mon, I'm married, I have elderly parents, I have teenagers...I get opinions and corrections thrown at me at a dizzying speed. But really, who are these people who feel the need to share with us their venom or disdain?

Our older son has ADHD. It is impossible to read an article about it without finding out that it doesn't exist, it's just an excuse for poor parenting, I am the world's worst parent and it's all my fault. Hey, I have teenagers - they can tell me that. All I need is Tom Cruise yelling at me over the psychiatric profession to make the mood complete. I was hoping to see techniques, books, or websites that other parents recommend. No hope for that in the midst of the blame game.

Another example - I attended East Carolina University. Try to read any article about one of our sports teams and the other schools fans will show up spewing venom about my school. Just as an aside, if you are going to demean the reputation of an educational institution, it usually works best if you SOUND EDUCATED. And for goodness sake, avoid all political articles comment sections unless you want to see true and complete inability to listen to another's opinion. All of the recent debt ceiling discussions have resulted in people everywhere sharing their opinions and ideas, but so often it's done with such anger or superiority that you can't bear to read their ideas or suggestions. 

Why have we become a society that is so incapable of listening to others in a well reasoned manner? What ever happened to civil discourse, to reasonable debate, to discussion? Can we please go back to "don't say it if you wouldn't say it to your mother"?


  1. Amen, Evelyn! As you know, Mary and my's alma mater is going coed, having a name change and more and it is staying in the news. Some alumnae, students, supporters are upset with the changes but more so with the way things were handled. You can imagine that every news, web article that allows comments has us all as male hating feminists @@ Sometimes my mouse hovers over the comment section (on a range of subjects, not just the Peace College issues) but 99% of the time I just don't add to the conversation. Regardless of how non threatening/unoffensive my comment is I know someone will jump on it. I just spread my comment love on blogs because a good thing ;)

  2. Bev - that is certainly one of the reasons I wrote this. I saw some of the comments before I remembered my policy on NOT looking at the comments section and was horrified again. I simply do not understand the need to personally attack those who are looking for a discussion or clarification. You are so right, too, that any comment is like waving a red flag to these people. We'll just have to spread our love and reason on blogs only.

  3. Yep, Bev has it right. The comments are beyond awful, but I can't help myself. I have to comment back, but I choose to do so with facts and manners. Never lower yourself to those who wouldn't understand anyway. Differing opinions are good, esp when ears are open, sadly that is seldom the case. Love the blog Evelyn, you nailed it!

  4. Agreed, but it's like a traffic accident. Whenever I start to think most people are actually good, I go check CNN.

  5. So true, so true! My eyes were drawn to some comments just this's like an accident you can't stop looking at.


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