Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The first and second rules of the internet

Rule one: do not argue with people on message boards

Rule two: do not argue with people on message boards

It's a well known fact that the internet is used by people that are wrong. And through this vast network of information, they can broadcast how wrong they are to the world. Occasionally you'll come across one of these people, and will be tempted to put them right. Except, as you probably know, trying to do this will only lead to a futile and endless struggle that will consume and waste hours of your precious life. I have learnt this. I don't do it anymore. I stay well clear. In fact, I don't usually go on message boards at all. I stay on here with bloggerers, like you, who are nicer. Recently though, I was looking at the IMDB page for The Adjustment Bureau, a film I quite like. I briefly glanced at the message boards. And it was full of bad things.

Now, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But this rule does not extend to people who are just wrong. If it's someone who wasn't paying attention. Someone who refuses to accept creative ideas. Someone who would find plot holes in their own birth if they weren't assured it had happened. Here was a list of criticisms so blindingly incompetent that I almost, almost, pressed the reply button. These people are here to test me. This person was particularly testing. I won't quote any of it. No. My point is, if I ever have a point, is that I chose to have a therapeutic rant on here instead of trying to argue. It has helped.


  1. This is a good subject. It is amazing how differing in opinions etc we as humans are. Like you I don't mind an opinion different to my own as long as it is reasoned and thought out.
    I have had several comments left on my literature blog that have confounded and amazed me. I can't get over how some people get so riled over an opinion that doesn't fit in with their own.
    The worst one was left buy a guy who told me I didn't have a 'deep understanding' of women after I savaged Ian Fleming's nonsense about women liking 'semi-rape' in his Bond novel The Spy Who Loved Me. This clown went on to hurl abuse and all sorts of rubbish at me!!! I was actually quite shocked but suffice to say rather than argue or comment back I deleted the clown's comment. In the end his nonsesnse as you point out isn't worth wasting time over.

  2. This is something I struggled with also, online and in my dealings with others personally.
    Some people are so blatantly, stupidly wrong that it is hard not to try and correct them. Unfortunately, since I did attempt to correct them every chance I got, I developed the reputation of being a smug know-it-all. It has taken me years to tame myself and live down that reputation.
    Now I just realize that some people are wrong, including myself. When someone says something that I know is just ridiculous I usually say "Hmmm, that's interesting" and move on with my life. I'm content knowing what I know and I don't feel the need to show it off to the world.
    I think that's where most of these people you talked about are coming from. They are insecure on a deep level and seek to prove their worth any way they can, even if they are wrong.
    I don't know, I guess I got a little carried away here, sorry. =D
    Good post!

  3. Very good advice.

  4. Ah! This got me to thinking and the old proverb came to mind...'he who argues with a fool becomes a fool.'

  5. I disagree. I think everyone on the Internet is correct. Including TRANSFORMERS fans.