Anonymous comments

I check out the headlines of several local newspapers on a daily basis, as well as a larger news organization.  Occasionally I read the comments that people leave on the articles.  I’m not sure that this is an accurate way of gauging what people really think about the articles though.  If it is, it shows us a very scary picture.  By and large, the comments are often rife with spelling errors.  This would not bother me in the least, if the comments didn’t come with a high level of vitriole.  What exactly is it about the anonymity of the Internet that allows people to feel it is okay to respond in the most juvenile and rude manner imaginable?  I cannot believe that these people act this way to anyone they meet face to face.  I work in a city public library and I think I have a pretty good idea of the best and worst that come in.  All of us say the wrong thing at one time or another, or our words just come out sounding wrong, even to us.  This is on another level, a politician’s level.  We need a return to civil discourse.  It’s one thing to disagree, but no one is going to convince anyone else they are right simply by screaming abusive rhetoric a little louder.  It seems to me that people are so concerned with marking their territory and blustering, that they’ve forgotten how to be polite and make a point.  How are we ever going to move forward when no one is willing to compromise?  At the very least, people need to work on making persuasive arguments without insulting others.

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