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Fri, Aug. 23

Blog: Cranky comments raise questions

Illustration by Tim Wiederaenders/The Daily Courier

Illustration by Tim Wiederaenders/The Daily Courier

Consider how you feel or act after a long, hard week or day. Nothing seems to go correctly, and you merely want to crawl into your cave and hibernate.

But sometimes people around you won't let you. They want something else or need your help. It's enough to make you scream. Right?

I often hear people remark, "No rest for the wicked!"

Actually, people are not wicked - at least not most. How could I know? I believe we have a barometer for this in; they're called Article Comments.

Judging by the exchanges we see daily in the comments, which follow each story, letter, blog or photo, some people are happy or curious and others can be plain miserable or unapologetic complainers.

No matter the topic.

For instance, we published a fine feature Monday about a Prescott-area team of medical professionals who volunteered their services in Guatemala doing knee replacements and such.

Most folks saw it for what it was; however, at least one person turned the topic into a complaint about the local hospital's service and rates.

Thankfully, a lot of bloggers policed the string of comments and set the person straight.

Ponder though the fact that this happens a lot. The subjects range from city business and road projects to medical care and politics.

Why are some people so on edge? Why do they lash out irrationally at times?

Two things come to mind - the Internet and the economy.

The World Wide Web offers people anonymity. They can chime in without punishment or retaliation - more than they would otherwise. And, considering the state of our economy (by the way, I am hearing the 'R' word more and more), people are scared and depressed.

Also, it is easier to criticize rather than compliment.

It's sad, really. It reminds me of the MySpace trend in which teens chat only through the web, rather than face to face.

Is this what technology is doing to us? Where will we end up - a faceless society with computers calling the shots? Sounds like a movie.

What do you think?

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