Last night I got sucked into the Internet, as one does, and read through several acrimonious comment sections. The most common kind of dismissive comment went along these lines:
“I will never get the last 2 minutes of my life back. Stop writing pointless drivel on the Internet and GET A JOB!”
This type of response perplexes me. Obviously the commenter didn’t like the post. And not just “Meh, ::: click back button :::” passive dislike. They were actively rankled by the post to the point where they felt the need to finish reading the piece, fill out the “Name / email / website” portion of a comment form, write a comment, read follow up comments, respond to follow up comments, and generally keep up some prolonged e-yelling. So it’s not like the commenter fundamentally doesn’t “get” that people like to engage in discussion on the Internet.
Presumably the commenter also has a job and/or outside interests and activities that they’re able to balance with disagreeing with people on the internet. So they grasp that it’s possible to put your opinions on the Internet while doing other stuff with your life.
Yet the commenter feels “GET A JOB!” is fitting insult to hurl at the writer. There are people whose blogs are their full time jobs, sure. But they’re a small minority of what you see out there. For most online writers, their content creation is either a hobby or a side-gig.
Some people play golf as a hobby. No one hangs out at golf courses and goes, “You call that a drive? Watching that was painful. Stop thinking you’re PGA quality, you narcissistic bum. That’s 30 seconds of my life I will never get back. Stop embarrassing yourself on the golf course and GET A JOB! Also? NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE YOU IN YOUR LEMON TROUSERS, ASSHOLE!”
Discussions about purchasing an investment property aren’t rife with side-eyes and the general sense that if the prospective buyer isn’t a real estate mogul, then they have no business in the arena and should just focus all their attention on their 9-5.
So why, commenter who clearly enjoys recreational Internet-ing, are you so hell bent on assuming the person who wrote the post you disagree with so much devotes 100% of their time to Internet-ing in lieu of employment?
I just typed all that out and, while it feels good to get it off my chest, it occurs to me that I could have just written “The reasons some people are irrational jerks on the Internet are two fold. 1. PEOPLE. 2. INTERNET.”
There’s not really anything to be done about this. Though, it might be fun to swing by the golf course and loudly inform the players that they need to put down the putter and pick up the want ads. What? I’m just trying to be honest and helpful. It’s not my problem if those losers choose to get defensive.