Angry-computerI’ve been heavy in these Internet streets for a minute now, and I’ve come to realize one thing: Folks just want to argue.

No matter how many good things happen around the ‘web (and there are many), or positive, upbeat articles that get written—say, congratulating an actress on her nuptials—the comments on the articles can quickly devolve into a spat, or worse, an all out war of words.

Take our recent post about Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha’s marriage.

While many happily wished the couple well, others took things in quite another direction.

After one commenter wondered, “How does a drop dead gorgeous woman marry a guy like that?” the conversation quickly morphed into a debate about colorism, education levels, Nigerians, and why Method Man is or is not fine.

And when another person thought it interesting Washington married a Nigerian man instead of a black American man (although Nnambdi was born and raised in the States), all hell broke loose.

But why?

I never understood what would prompt people to verbally joust for hours, or even days (yes, this happens), with people they’ve never met and will likely never lay eyes on.

What satisfaction does one get from “going in” on a fellow commenter and assuming all manner of ungodly things about them?

Does it make someone walk a little taller to eviscerate (in their mind) their foes, or point out an errant typo, or turn a positive post about love into a smackdown about why black men/women ain’t sh*t?

When I come across comments that appear angry for anger’s sake I immediately want to ask, “Who hurt you?!” then give that person a hug (and/or my therapist’s number).  Because I can’t explain what would compel a person to get all agitated and up in arms about someone who, quite probably, does not even care they exist.

Is it just a matter of winning an argument? Feeling like your superior debate skills have shone through? Gabbing hold to whatever personal victory (albeit small and kinda pathetic) you can get?

I’m not exactly sure. But when it comes to thumb thugging, I rely on the wisdom of Sweet Brown: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

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  • I don’t see how method man got into that post at all. Sometimes people do just want to argue especially if you had a bad day. Internet arguing or arguing just in general can take the life out of you.

  • T.

    I kind of have a problem with this article, with a writer on this site calling out commenters on this site in this way.

    The articles here are intended to provoke discussion/conversation, right? And that one provoked a lively and multi-faceted conversation. The comments on the article are still open (and people are still commenting on it, probably even moreso now that there’s a link to it in this post), and it doesn’t look like any moderators stepped in to put a brake on the exchanges (pardon me if I’m mistake on this). But all of a sudden there’s going to be a post days later characterising commenters as petty, angry and pathetic?

    With all due respect, Britni, I think you missed the mark here. I think a measured reiteration and discussion of the site’s commenting policy and a reminder to us to try to be respectful to each other would have been better.

    Just my small $0.02