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If you are at all familiar with the interwebs, you know that there can be dark, ominous places housing all manner of disgusting garbage fires.

As a communications student with a penchant for controversy and alarmingly self-destructive tendencies, I enjoy seeking those things out, and I guess it was only a matter of time before they began seeking me.

In the past month, I’ve noticed a massive influx of comments under Student Printz articles that aren’t unlike those found in various other places online. As an editor, I am notified every time someone makes one. I love the little notification bubbles that pop up, and I’m always excited to hear what readers think. But lately, I’ve noticed that online comments tend to lean less towards thoughtful and engaging discussion and more toward flamingly fearful vitriol.

I have some issues with these comments – not because they generally express opinions different from my own, but because they express needless, hateful and aggressive views better left in a pre-2017 world. (Or, you know, a pre-21st century world.)

However, I know that most people who leave those comments are unaware of just how needless, hateful and aggressive their commenting might be so I’m going to utilize my attention-deprived English major side and give you all a simile to put things in perspective – here’s how aggressive commenting is like beating a dead, half-decayed horse with a shoddy twig in the midst of a hurriquake wildfire.

1. No one’s listening – I repeat, hurriquake.

Disregarding the fact that I’m threatening your imaginary world with an equally imaginary freak storm, I think a decaying horse is the least of your concerns in this particular scenario. I know that most likely, you’re already thinking of the “likes” your comments have received – of course, there will be those select few who stop and admire your twig swing. Some of those people have probably swung their own twigs. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a hurriquake coming, and you’re wasting valuable time on something very trivial. Plus, when the freak storm does come, do you really think any of those people will stop to help you?

2. You’re only harming yourself.

I know you feel as though your hateful rhetoric will somehow dismantle the opposition, but…. You’re beating a dead horse with a shoddy twig in the midst of a hurriquake wildfire while the rest of us are running for our lives. Need I say any more? This will end badly for one of us, and I don’t need a math major to say that one is most definitely you.

3. Most of your arguments could be dispelled by a simple Google search.

The funniest thing about your comments is that they’re ridden with questions. Do you know what we millennial do with questions? We plug that junk into a search engine, and then we analyze results to make sure we don’t fall victim to fake news. I’ve never Googled whether or not I should beat a dead/decaying horse with a shoddy twig in the middle of a hurriquake wildfire, but I’m sure that if I were to, I’d see numerous sources warning me against the practice.

By the way (because I’m disturbed by how many people think otherwise), fake news does not encompass opinion pieces. Opinion pieces are OPINIONS. Fake news is PROPAGANDA. I’m emphasizing this because I was left speechless by a comment that decried an opinion piece for not being “objective” and proceeded to bash the integrity of our paper.


4. If you argue that your opposition consists largely of people seeking/possessing higher education than you…

…Are you even listening to yourselves? In your vile comments, many of you like to ask what we learn in universities nowadays. One of you even said that we shouldn’t blindly listen to our professors just because they hold esteemed doctorate degrees. In our hurriquake wildfire metaphor, this is the equivalent of continuing to beat the horse while a friend calls to your from a much larger hill with a viewpoint that allows him to see the coming storm.

“What do you even see on that hill? That hills sucks. You won’t understand until you’ve beat your own horse,” You grunt back, before shaking your head and continuing to swing your twig.

5. The more people who stop to beat the proverbial horse, the faster the hurriquake consumes us all. Enough said.


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