Wednesday 14 June 2006

Losing our blogging civility to poor and bad comments

Many cultures and negative comparisons

Sometimes my affinity for Nigeria, Nigerian things and conversation with Nigerians can be dampened and stretched beyond tolerable acquiescence.

Most especially in the world of web logging, the ability to stimulate commentary is lost to commentators who in their quest to be heard and not necessarily be listened to lose the ability to intelligently inform and converse.

Over time, many have made comments of their observations of Nigeria in the light of their experiences, these might reflect as praise, criticism or somewhere in between.

Being someone who lives in a foreign country as I am English, living in the Netherlands and of Nigerian parentage, I find that I always am comparing values, cultures, norms and standards amongst these different societies, anything I voice the negatives in debate I could expect a response which might fall anywhere between complete acceptance or utter rejection.

Magnanimous in listening

However, I hold the greatest respect for those who can take criticism, argue their points with civility and intellect that belies their upbringing and education which might persuade me of a better view.

The unfortunate thing is when people go for the lowest common denominator, taking offence at the criticism, insult or insensitivity descend to the same level of the protagonist and spew the same kind of invective in response.

It helps no one at all, rather, the opportunity to persuade and present your objective perspective in ways that allow you take the higher moral ground is lost without redemption.

Brawlers with keyboards

The baser instinct of the human being appeals more to the primitive than the civilized and where restraint cannot be exercised, it becomes a free-for-all fracas unlikely to be witnessed amongst wild beasts.

Along with that comes others who cannot be healed of the verbal diarrhoea, highly strung, quick-to-comment/slow-to-think, primed for a punch-up with aggression that makes a black mamba’s reflexes pale in comparison – their main goal is to antagonise any voice of reason.

They just cannot be seen to step back and observe, hold their peace and apply even the slightest iota of reason to their comments. They come in as fodder, fouling up the commentary landscape such that voyeurs (readers) are almost titillated beyond sexual ecstasy. The indecency of it all.

Arcahic as it might sound, I am still of the opinion that discretion is always, always, always, always the better part of valour. Sadly, many are impervious to that ability to separate, distinguish, think, meditate, reflect, write, reflect, edit and post.

People of that ilk are better left as Internet acquaintances if they ever get that far.

The privilege to comment

A web logger offers their opinion on any matter that excites their interest from whatever perspective – the allowance of free commentary from anyone without moderation should in the least be seen as a privilege. The abuse of that privilege is uncouth at best and unprintable at worst.

There are many who are still to realise that fact and it makes blogging all the poorer for it.

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