Comments on Social Media: Do You have a Real Opinion?

social media no opinionThere are a LOT of blogs and online publications today and as a social media professional, it seems I am always hearing and reading if we don’t have anything positive to say, we shouldn’t say or write anything at all.  Being raised by the golden rule, I get it.  However, there are also times, when a difference of opinion or a conflicting point of view makes for interesting conversation or for no other reason our right as Americans to free speech.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love being around positive people.  In my opinion, the comment section on blogs, and social platforms are meant for feedback, critiques, conversations, etc.

It seems lately, I have been reading more and more blogs where if the content is questionable, or controversial, there are no comments, or if there are, the comments are “great job”.   Are these individuals really reading the posts? Are they just posting something in the comments section for the SEO juice?  Or are they a bunch of zombie-minded Stepford wives of the internet posting happy thoughts because they don’t want to hurt their social media friends’ feelings?

It’s not just on blogs.  It’s also on social platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter.  Has everyone has had the Kool-Aid?   A good portion of the social media population appears to be conforming to the “I’m going to be positive all the time” mentality to the point if they don’t have anything positive to say, they say nothing.

I like to ask questions, get people’s opinions and many times  all I get is a “like”.  Why is that?  Are they too busy to comment?  What’s your opinion? I really would like to know!


23 Replies to “Comments on Social Media: Do You have a Real Opinion?”

  1. In the first place, no one is good or feel good all the time. We are humans.
    Second, it is true. Many people that feels obligated to comment just post “great job, great article” or something similar.
    I am one who believes that differences of opinions can enrich the conversation and even I/you can learn something.
    Many times we think we’re right and it is not so.

    1. You are so right, there’s no way anyone can feel good all the time. Yet, it seems, on social media platforms, we are expected to be happy and positive all the time. Thanks so much for voicing your opinion! 🙂

  2. It looks like we’ve been noticing the same trends Knikkolette. I’ve noticed a drop in “quality” comments as well, both on my blog and social networks. I try to spam out the “nice work dear” comments and those are actually on the rise.

    I also want to mention your first point, about reader expectations and being positive. That’s one thing I haven’t been accused of yet; I’ve publically stuck my foot in my mouth more times than I care to admit.

    I do avoid certain topics when it comes to social sites. For example, I normally avoid politics and religion. It’s not only because no good can come from it as far as my online business, it also steers the conversation away from the message I’m trying to convey.

    When it comes to blogging, social media or online business, I love it when things turn into a discussion, even a debate. Like you said, those are on the decline as well and it’s a shame. I think a lot of it might be we’re spread too thin and short on time. I know I feel pretty overwhelmed on a daily bases but without true interaction, what’s the point, right?

    1. You are absolutely right Brian – so many are so busy trying to be “social” they’ve forgotten what social really is! It would seem their priority is making an appearance on all the sites rather than interacting and getting to know the people who could potentially be their clients.

  3. Here’s my major issue with facebook: me and one of my friends exchange quotes by Samuel Beckett. Things like nothing is more real than nothing or if I really had control of my body I’d throw it out the window or The biggest sin is being born or God, the Bastard, he doesn’t exist. Well, I accidently, instead of sending my quote to my friend’s message box on her facebook page, it got posted to the chat line. And now, they have removed my cover photo, which was in no way obscene, just a photo I took of a toy, and someone has reported me and I’m now blocked from adding back my cover photo because when I do, it shows up on the newsfeed with an X so that people can report me. So I’m absolutely amazed at the censorship. I don’t what to do. Shut it down? It’s absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to get in touch with a human in their support options. What’s the deal here? What should I do?.

    1. That’s a really good question Camille. I just watched the movie based on Facebook “The Social Network” (again) and it has changed so much from what (according to the movie) Mark Zuckerberg wanted Facebook to be. Facebook was supposed to be this place where people could express themselves, tell people what they were doing. I have seen pages that want to raise awareness about breast cancer and they are shut down because they show images of women with no breasts citing them as pornographic. It is as you say, if we are not careful, our content is censored. I guess this is what happens when you sell your soul to shareholders.

  4. I find it has to do with people being on too many platforms and too busy. Thanks for the great post

    1. And thank you so much for your response. Your observation that people are on too many platforms and too busy does have a lot to do with it. Thanks again. 🙂

      1. Knikkolette, thanks for your response. I just wrote you a detailed explanation of what I found out about how facebook has now altered their format and when you go to a person’s page and attempt to leave a message you get diverted to the chat box. I went on to explain my opinions about this and when I tried to post it, I received an Error: possible spam bot. What does that mean? I simply stated that facebook is blatantly and undeniably violating the peoples rights to Freedom of Speech set in stone under the First Amendment. And that I feel their abuses border on being criminal and are, in fact, crimes. I went to facebooks help forum and found dozens of people complaining about the same issue and dozens of people who by sheer accident hit the report button and now family members and friends have been reported and blocked and are finding it impossible to remedy. Apparently facebook doesn’t bother to monitor their forum and make no attempt to resolve issues or offer any assistance. You’re right: We’re in a very Faustian situation.

  5. I have seen the same trend — either all the comments are boring pats on the back, or they devolve into nasty arguments. (With some threads turning political for absolutely no rational reason.) I suspect that people are too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of blogs and information they read to engage in a meaningful way. So, instead, they read and move on… but, if it is a friend’s site, they want to show support and post a quickie comment. I miss the great conversations we used to have on blog threads, but, I think Brian’s recent post about conversations moving to other channels may be part of the answer.

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to post. It does seem we live in a fast paced world where we are all too busy! 🙁

  6. I think that many people just don’t have the time and are on too many platforms and too little time, so instead of commenting which takes time, they just LIKE something. And I have to say that on Social Media Platforms No I don’t like to say anything negative because a lot of times it creates these nasty debates. I will say I agree and disagree on a point however anything more directed towards feedback that might stir up craziness I do in a Private inbox. I have seen way to much out there that just wasn’t necessary.

    1. Carly, I know you are usually very positive and upbeat and encourage everyone to maintain that attitude. In fact, many times, your posts have put me in a better mood! 🙂 The back-story of this post was actually written based upon a comment I receive from someone because of a comment I made on a post. The comment I made was not negative, it just did not agree with the poster’s comment – it questioned it. This poster even went so far as to accuse me of attempting to draw more attention to myself and deleted my comment and said I shouldn’t post “negative posts”. So you are correct – they can turn into nasty debates – which is a shame that people can’t post their opinions without it turning into an all-out brawl. Anyways – I appreciate you working so hard to post a comment on this. I know you had to jump through hoops! Big hugs to you! <3

  7. I have on occasion posted my contrary opinions about a post. Instead of a debate my comments were ignored… even by those posting after me. This has happened several times. I don’t know whether silence is some type of political correctness or simply a lack of courage of conviction but it felt to me like a waste of time. So now when I read something I question, disagree with or take a different point of view about, I don’t post comments. However, I do make a decision as to whether I will continue to follow the blog or whether I still want this person as a friend.

    1. I’m not sure why blogger’s don’t respond to comments. I know sometimes I don’t respond to comments because I’m just really busy, or a comment will be posted to an older post and I will have to remember what the post was about… I do eventually get around to it. The person who wrote the blog or posted the original content on the social platform is the one losing out in this scenario. Thanks so much for your feedback!

  8. On my blog I respond to virtually any comment that isn’t a “Nice article” type of “filler response.” It’s actually where I invest a disproportionate amount of time. I try to make the comment instructive, or adapt whatever my message was to their specific situation. As a result, I have mostly very meaningful comments. I find this to be one way to build a solid relationship with my readers, which I can’t do as well on Facebook … and not at all on Twitter. On all social media platforms, I keep religion and politics out entirely (although I’ve written and erased more than a few). Unfortunately, we are no longer allowed to have a different belief or opinion online because there are too many extremists or crazies just looking for a place to pick a fight. Shame, it could have been a great debate!

    1. Depending on the post (and how strongly I feel about the subject) – I will express my opinion whether I agree with the author or other commentors or not. Many times, the subject matter just isn’t worth my time or effort – but if I’m really passionate about something I will definitely put up a fight. I feel I am to blame as much as anyone else, because I pick and choose which fight I am willing to put effort into – are we afraid or are we just too lazy to express an opinion these days?

  9. I think part of it is also that people are afraid their comments will be picked apart and turned into something they are not even trying to say. We are living in a critical world and most people in social media want to be liked and supported. I have seen where people voice their conflicting opinions and then are attacked for it. However, I do agree that I myself could do a better job of posting more than a few words when commenting. Thanks for bringing this up!

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