An Anthology of Internet Idiots

I used to think people started nonsensical and irrelevant arguments in pubs because of alcohol, and then we invented social media. Now I see the nonsensical and irrelevant argument is endemic.

I'm all for discussing issues, ideas, and concepts, and I'll happily talk about religion and politics, but let's do it properly. Discussing differing viewpoints shouldn't instantly descend into a shouting match. We should be open too alternative theories, because even really smart cookies make mistakes. Isaac Newton thought you could turn lead into gold. Bet he's thankful he didn't have the Internet to shame him like Gemma Worral and her phonetic spelling of 'Barraco Barner'. The poor kid was just trying to get too grips with current affairs by posting: “If Barraco Barner is our president why is he getting involved with Russia, scary”. The next thing she knew she'd gone viral, and insulting tweets rained down on her. That's what you get for trying to engage with world politics. That'll teach her.

As a society us Brits are rubbish at arguing. We're so socialised into being conflict adverse we apologise when someone bumps into us. Perhaps that explains the red mist rage that finds its way onto the Internet. We just don't have the skills to argue properly. We must change this, or run the risk of spending our lives in an emotionally arrested state spewing out hateful tweets. Go out into the big worldwide web and welcome open and constructive debate, my friends. But be warned, there are those that would thwart our just quest. Make sure you don't get trapped in a conversation of doom with one of these Internet idiots: 

The Screamers

They're just saying the same thing. Over and over. At high speed. This isn't a conversation. This isn't a debate. This is a wind tunnel. The Hadron Collider of Internet Idiots.

The Errorists

These pedantic point scorers are fixated with the typos you make, not the flaws in your theory. Like when you choose the slightly wrong term, while you're making dinner and chatting about politics in 140 characters. As far as The Errorists are concerned, by using the incorrect spelling of 'there' you've torpedoed your whole argument. Except that's not really the case is it? Accidentally typing “women could be equal”, instead of “women should be equal” doesn't alter feminism. Last time I checked the argument for gender equality didn't hinge on autocorrect. Tank gods.

Mansplainers

Mansplainers are men who feel compelled to unnecessarily explain things to the poor confused little women. Yes, Dr Ladybro, you have a macroeconomics PHD and have just published an article about the International Monetary Fund in a national newspaper, but the helpful Mansplainer is here too inform you that that's also known as the IMF. Particular favourites of Mansplainers unsolicited and unwanted enlightenments are anything traditionally thought of as male specialities e.g. sport, finance, comics, and Star Wars. Those who genuinely do know more about a topic discuss ideas, they don't act like an involuntary human glossary shouting out the definitions of words the other person has already used. N.B. There are definitely womansplainers too, but they are fewer in number and make a less pleasing snarky name.

The Reversists

Wherever a minority is promoted or a representational imbalance sought to be redressed, you'll find the Reversist's campaigning loudly against it. 'Why isn't there a men's hour on the radio? THIS is an example of reverse sexism!' No. No it's not. And that makes no sense anyway. Going in the reverse direction as sexism would be good. That would be the opposite of sexism. That would be equality. Do they mean misandry? Oh who cares. The Reversists' driving motivation is themselves. They feel slighted by the world. They don't understand why they don't have their own hour on the radio. They don't understand why they don't have their own radio show. As far as they're concerned someone is giving their life, the one they should have, to some minority. And it's not fair. These special snowflakes are delusional narcissists. See also: Why don't we have a White History Month? And: when is International Men's Day?

Trolls

The most obvious of all Internet idiots. Offer an opinion and they will come for you. Sending abusive threatening messages is not a discussion. It is not an example of free speech. It is an example of hate. This lot need arresting or therapy, or both. Block, and don't look back.

Happy arguing. And happy birthday, Internet.