The Guide to Appropriate Commenting

OK, so I have recently made a startling new discovery. This is going to be difficult to believe, but I just started reading the comments sections under articles.

I know what you are thinking and I feel the same way about it. How could that be?

I tell ya, I knew the comments section was there, but it was sort of like when everyone else was wearing Cavaricci's and I was just in regular ol' pants. Yes, my pants were tighter at the top and loose on the legs and then tight on the bottom again, but that is just because that is how I was shaped. But don't you worry--I am wearing my Cavariccis now!

Anyway, I now realize what a disservice I have been doing myself by not reading the comments. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me wish that I knew a world before I thought to read the comments section and then when I realize that I can never go back to that world, they make me cry again.

As I have now read at least five different comment sections, I am going to consider myself an expert and compile a list of best practices when it comes to Internet commenting.

These will be provided to you free of charge, in no particular order, except for the order with which I have put them in, and I must insist that you read through them twice. Really just to make sure there are no grammatical errors. Because I hate when that happens. So let me know if you see any please.

I find that this list can be used for incredibly controversial subjects such as if cheerleading actually qualifies as a sport or less controversial subjects, such as whether it is worse to walk down to the subway when it is slushy in the winter or sweltering in the summer? I also find that printouts of this list can be used as kindling for making a fire on these fine chilly nights.

So here they are, for all of your fire-making and commenting needs...

Rule #1: Try to use words in your commenting that you would never use in front of your children. The more curses you can fit into one line, the more the others you are addressing will realize the intensity of what you are feeling. For example, simply writing something like "I don't agree with that decision," is totally open to interpretation and will just confuse your reader with its logic. They will be thinking to themselves, "what does that really mean?" It is so much clearer when someone writes something more like this: "that b-llsh-t is f-ck-n crap." Ah cha. Finally. Now I understand what you are saying.

Rule #2: Please remember that intensity doesn't need to be through the use of cursing. It can also be displayed through the use of caps lock, or Internet yelling. WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Not to be mistaken with the much quieter but equally as strong, "What is that supposed to mean?" So, let's not be meek, people. No library voices here. This is the comments section DAMMIT. If I don't write it here, I will actually have to speak to people about it. Like while standing right in front of them to hear their direct comment back to me. Is there even a name for such ridiculousness?

Rule #3: If you have any doubt about what to write in a comments section, just stick with "you (or for those in the know, it is actually written "u") guys are idiots." But make sure not to direct the comment at anyone in particular. That way, enough people will think that you are talking about them to inspire a whole new slew of comments where people re-defend their earlier position. But now they are upset about this non-constructive and blatant criticism and their subsequent comments are going to be even meaner and less relevant to their original point. This will lead to more miscommunication amongst us all. Which as we all know leads to better reality TV shows. And if that ain't what we are all on a quest for, then I am just not sure what it is all about!

And finally, Rule #4: Here I shall quote my wonderful mother who always told me that if you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut. Umm...sorry mom...not applicable. This is the Internet, people. You don't even need your mouth. You are technically only using your fingers. Have you really said anything at all if you have done is type it out? Does a tree fall in the woods if there is no one nearby to hear it?

So, this holiday season, this is my request to you. I ask you to sit down in front of your computer (unless you are at home in which case you are welcome to sit on your couch) with a cup of semi-hot coffee and a banana nut mini muffin and ask yourself, really really ask yourself, what I think is the only important question left: If cheerleading is a sport, isn't it about time that the cheerleaders get to have their own cheerleaders? Think about it.