After reading 9 Tips for Dealing with Idiots on the Internet over at Internet Duct Tape, I began wondering if there are is also a Christian perspective that can be brought to the table regarding internet interactions that are less than fun. A kind of WWJD for blogging. Yeah . . . I am THAT cheesy.
So . . . if pressed, here are a few ways that Christ-centered bloggers may articulate dealing with commenters who are difficult to love.
Conversations that lead nowhere really are not conversations. Sometimes people may just need a place to vent, you have touched a raw nerve or folks are simply trolling for places to leave their opinions and are not really up for an exchange of ideas. That’s fine if that is what they want to do, but this blog is your house, so you get to decide at what level the exchange happens. So dust off that blog and move on.
Christ is indeed in all people.
You just never know what is going on with folks who act less than appropriate and/or seem like they have lost their mind figuratively and literally. While your first inclination – I know mine is – is to think of them simply as dolts and want to declare, "Off with their heads!" this should not be our response. While you do not have to engage in hopeless back and forth or encourage abusive interaction, you should always be asking the question of, "Where is Christ in this person?" Who knows how that perspective can influence our interactions and what kind of impact we can make now or later on said dolt 😉
Speaking the truth love goes both ways.
For good or bad, I begin with the assumption that all people who leave comments – obvious spammers excluded – do so for the greater good and out of some place of discernment. I think we have to begin there lest we risk writing someone off who just may be the one that God intended for me to listen to. So . . . even in the worst of comments or personal attach, try to first think about ANY nuggets of truth that might be contained in the comment.
And of none of that works, stoning is still legal right?