The format of a My Take is 150 words – no more, no less – to express an opinion on a different topic each week. This week’s topic was internet comments
One of the classic maxims of internet culture is “don’t read the comments.”
Anyone who challenges that advice quickly learns why; as much as we might like to image the world as a positive place filled with constructive dialogue, the reality is that there are few environments more toxic than an internet comments section.
My first impulse in writing this was to question the idea all the same. After all, a problem doesn’t generally go away just because you ignore it. It’s important, though, to recognize comments sections as the performance venues they are: take away the audience, or remove the stage entirely, and the same hateful actors will be out there, but fewer people will be watching.
It’s not a perfect solution. The performers can find another stage and new audiences somewhere else, but I think with some vigilance, it’s not a bad approach.