John White, MBA in Publishers & Bloggers, Marketing, English Columnist • Inc Magazine Aug 17, 2017 · 1 min read · 2.5K

Before Commenting, Try Reading the Whole Story

Before Commenting, Try Reading the Whole Story

Logical thinking tells us that everybody reads the actual article before posting a comment, right? Wrong! You would think so. However, every day I see people on social media who jump straight to the comment section and start sounding off, without even bothering to read the post.

How can you tell they didn’t read it?

These commenters stick out like a sore thumb. They are the ones that ask questions that were clearly answered within the post. They go off on tangents based upon only the perception of the title and picture. Many times their comments contain very poor grammar and invalid points that lack facts. Since these commenters don’t have a clear understanding of the subject, it is not uncommon that they become hostile right away.

Have we reached a low point in our communications that people have become too lazy to actually read the information provided before they form their opinions? Has this become socially acceptable? Do people think they already know everything so they don’t even need to bother reading the content? Here is a quote from a great friend of mine and fellow writer, Milos Djukic, from his post here on beBee. His quote really summarizes this alarming trend of not wanting to accept or even consider other people’s viewpoints:

The moment when we start to believe that we are influential is at the same time the final moment for our own rigorous review, reconsideration and implementation of all necessary corrections.

People are quick to judge an article.

I think it is time for a reading intervention! A call to action for greater levels of social engagement to produce higher levels of understanding and learning.

Some of you may remember the epic April Fools’ joke, National Public Radio (NPR), pulled on its followers on social media? They produced a phony article with attached picture and published it on their website. The “article” was titled, “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore.” When clicking on the link to the article readers were greeted by this message:

Congratulations, genuine readers, and happy April Fools’ Day! We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this “story.”

Sure enough, many people jumped straight to the comment section and were firing off. Many of whom were quick to defend their own reading habits. The irony was brilliant!

Here is one of the better comments that beautifully illustrates the point:

This article is horrible. Americans DO read, it’s disrespectful to intelligent americans to state as fact that america no longer reads. My daughter is second grade and her class is assigned at least one book a month to read. My wife is an avid reader and is even takes part in a weekly book club. As for myself, I read mainly ESPN and Sports Illustrated. America is a great and educated country, and one I am proud to live in.

This is a classic sound-off failure! Not only does the comment show a complete lack of understanding, it is very poorly written. I am not a copy editor. However, by a quick count, I found seven grammatical errors contained within a short post.

We should at least read the author’s post and point of view before giving an opinion.

Do you agree?

Originally published on Huff Post

Alan Max 23/4/2019 · #49

Your piece of writing is so very true. I wonder that people basically do not completely read articles for the reason that they feel beset by all that social media and the internet have to recommend. According to the experts, main cause could be that such write ups are extensive and most times tedious.

Renée 🐝 Cormier 20/8/2017 · #47

Depending on who is writing, I sometimes find the comments more interesting than the article. I guess the trick is to find a way to engage with people in a positive way, even if they clearly didn't read your post. Don't take it personally. Our lives are all about gathering quick hits of information these days. Bullet points, listicles, one minute videos and short comments are the order of the day.

+1 +1
Ken Boddie 20/8/2017 · #46

A masterful dummy spit, John, and thanks to the recently 'hatted' @Kevin Pashuk for tagging me. I feel compelled then to go off on a tangent of invalidity and provide a fact lacking comment prompted by Kev's earlier post and comment. It has come to my attention that one of the more practical uses for Vegemite is to place it behind the ears when walking through tree sheltered areas here in Oz. This is the most effective protection that the individual can confidently wear against the dreaded 'drop bear', which perches in selected eucalypts, and has a preference for preying on tourists.

+2 +2

Good points @John White, MBA. I agree with @Jim Murray there are too many posts to deal with. I try to keep the number of posts I read at a realistic level so I can enjoy the read, find the takeaway, and comment if I choose to. I don't comment on every article I read and to leave a "nice post" comment can seem rather shallow.

With that said, it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy what I read, I just don't have anything relevant to say. I would rather not leave a comment than to not read a post in its entirety and then attempt to leave a comment. That doesn't make good sense.

Lengthy posts, with long sentences and long paragraphs, lose my attention. If a post is long, then adding images, bold type, bullet points, etc. make reading much easier on the eyes and the brain.

I have shared posts that I have scanned because the title is interesting, for example, "how to build a car". I don't care about the subject but someone might benefit from it.

Nice post, good read, well done, you nailed it, spot on, shared, very nice, excellent, outstanding, and happy reading. 😎

+4 +4
Phil Friedman 19/8/2017 · #44

#43 Crimey! And I thought only the Spamish generated that here. If the Australians do as well, what about @Brian McKenzie, who probably adores fried eggs and spam for breakfast. (You see, @John White, MBA, writing irrelevant comments ain't so easy andshould be left to those who can.)

+3 +3
Jim Murray 19/8/2017 · #43

#42 Vegemite is Australian Spam.

+2 +2
Phil Friedman 19/8/2017 · #42

#37 What in Hades is "Vegemite"? Maite.

+2 +2