We bloggers probably all have at least one of them. You know, that one annoying person who seems to disagree with all your opinions and just wants to argue but can’t seem to stay away from your blog no matter how often they are shot down or ignored.
I’m not talking about trolls. Trolls are abusive and nasty and sadistic. They seem to get their jollies from angering and upsetting site owners and their readers with abusive, ad-hominem attacks and name-calling. They can never back up their arguments. They seem to exist just to upset others.
No, I’m talking about people who have vastly different opinions and beliefs than the prevailing opinions and beliefs on the blogs they read. They don’t actually abuse, though they can be very sanctimonious and self-righteous. They waste their breath arguing with you and your like-minded commenters, and act as if we’re all wrong and only their belief system is the right one.
I have a commenter like this right now. This individual is extremely annoying to me. It’s not even because we have vastly different opinions about most things; it’s that this individual is so self-righteous and smug about it. I could just delete their comments, but this person does have a right to their opinion, so I approve them anyway, as much as dislike most of them. I don’t like this person though, so after posting one useless counter-argument, I refuse to engage this person further. Now I just let the comments stand as they are, without further comment or engagement. I think that’s more effective than arguing with someone whose mind probably can’t be changed because they’re so sure you’re wrong and they’re just trying to “save” you from your wrong thinking. I just don’t feel like wasting my time. I have better things to do.
I thought my freezing them out might have made this person disappear, but no such luck. They are still posting comments that seem intended to make me ragey, although I don’t express my annoyance. This person seems completely oblivious that I’m giving them the cold shoulder by not Liking or commenting on any of their comments.
I don’t understand people like that. Fine, I can understand a troll’s motives. Sort of. They are usually sociopaths and like to stir up trouble. Upsetting people is entertainment to them. They get off on it. But “that one commenter” isn’t a troll. They believe what they are saying. They are right. You are wrong. Period. They don’t name call or use ad hominem attacks. They are just insufferably smug and self righteous about your wrongness and their rightness.
I don’t understand why someone like that would spend time writing comments on a blog whose prevailing views are so different than theirs. Why not read blogs where most of the people there will agree with you? It just seems like a huge waste of time to me.
If you blog, how do YOU handle these kinds of commenters?