The Three Boorish Buckets Of Social Media Comments
By Robert Bacal
We're all familiar with the boorish communicators that often frequent cocktail parties or networking events. Blessed with apparent gregariousness coupled with a complete disregard for the interests and concerns of the people they talk "at", they monopolize conversation, and express no interest in others whatsoever.
As a result they are absolutely dead boring, and people will go out of their way to avoid them.
It's not surprising that people on social media enact many of the same boorish behaviors they also use online, but for some reason, regular find folks, such as yourself, tend to become MORE BOORISH online.
It's become the norm. In all likelihood you fall into one of the two negative buckets of boorishness online, and suffer the consequences. Or not, because almost everyone comments boorishly, damaging communication, and creating very superficial relationships online. People don't even notice boorish behavior anymore.
Check out these three boorish buckets to see where you spend most of your time.
Full Bore Bucket: Self Serving, Oblivious Broadcasters
Full bore bucket comments are completely self-serving, and pretty easy to spot. These are the comments that include ads, or offer a level of self-aggrandizement that serves the poster in exalting his or her online persona. Full bore bucket comments are usually authoritarian, intolerant of others, and seem to reflect a belief that the commentator's audience is just dying to hear the pearls of wisdom in each comment. And of course, the most fascinating topic for the full bore bucket commentator is him or herself. Or his or her opinions.
Full bore bucket comments are all about the poster. Never about dialogue, communication. They are about power over, and not power with.
Even if they are cloaked in positive complimentary terms, the point of these comments is to show just how wonderful the poster is.
And it's never about dialogue. Never questions asked, or interest shown in anyone else.
The Half Bore Bucket: Less Offensive On The Surface But Really The Full Bore in Disguise
The half bore bucket is for comments that seem to show an interest in others, and seem to portray a desire to engage, but don't really.
They constitute the norm for social media interaction, and we all (or almost all) use the half bore bucket as the major way we interact online. It's so common that few notice that the conversations involve talking about the same thing but without actually talking with, and learning about the other people.
Half Bore comments are "nice"...much nicer than the full more ones. They include:
- thank you's by the dozen
- indications of agreement
- statements of fact
- statements of opinion
BUT without trying to explore what other people have said.
The end result is a conversation where, on the surface, there is dialogue but it's a pseudo-dialogue because none of the participants express any sincere interest in learning more about the other people in the conversation.
The No Bore Bucket: Facilitating Interaction and Sincere Interest In Learning About Others
The third bucket isn't boorish at all. It's also the rarest. No bore bucket comments involve asking questions, getting clarification, showing sincere concern about the welfare of others, and facilitating conversation not just with the commentator but among the other participants.
They also reflect an effort to remember what others in the conversation have said in the past, and acknowledge details of others' lives they have shared previously.
This is so rare, and also so much appreciated that staying mostly in the no bore bucket will earn you a reputation for being a caring, really smart human being.
Conclusions And Implications
Some people are truly bores wherever they are, online or off. If you are one of those, consider that regardless of how much YOU value your input, others will not match that level of admiration. Start thinking about how to show an interest, and you'll find that people start showing more of an interest in you.
For most of us, though, we can come across as far more human, and far more caring if we mix our usual half bore bucket comments with questions that elicit more detailed responses from others.
You can learn hugely from people, if you only just start showing that interest, asking questions, and remembering things about the people you interact with online.
If that's not enough to break out of the half bucket boorish blues, you'll also be making a huge contribution to the communities to which you belong, by facilitating more transparent, more detailed real dialogue.