First rule of the net: Never read comments


Your milemage may vary on the type of publications I read (I article hop all over the web), but nonetheless it seems a well established ‘rule’ of the internet to never read the comments section. Come on, man, your life depends on it.

Granted, most of the content in the comments section is usually worthy of a pass-over, I nonetheless usually spend a small amount of time giving it a glance over to see if there’s anything of worth to be gleaned from it.

Although many of the comments will be obvious trolling at times, occasionally it presents new perspectives and information that I hadn’t considered. Others share their experiences that may not align with my own beliefs or understanding or may even offend me at times, but are nonetheless interesting in seeing what other people out there think. Sometimes it also is simply interesting to see from what places people are reading the articles and lets you appreciate how big the world can truly be.

True, sometimes all that may come out of this exercise is exposure to the endless reams of internet bigots waiting for their next victim to drag into the fiery pits, but occasionally, just occasionally, you’ll find that diamond in the rough.

Maybe it’s just me that is able to derive such a strange sort of interest from the usually decrepit pit that is the comments section. As a person that generally prefers not to take sides, this helps to inform both sides of the argument — when they have substance at least. Although over there, there may be trolls, sometimes there is also witty and intelligent bantering taking place.

The true first rule, however, is more likely to be never comment in the first place.

Illustration by Ryoheihuke, on deviantArt, all credits respective owners.