How to Comment on Social Media by Rebecca Solnit
January 31, 2024 1:50 PM   Subscribe

On Lit Hub, Rebecca Solnit writes about how to comment on social media:
1) Do not read the whole original post or what it links to, which will dilute the purity of your response and reduce your chances of rebuking the poster for not mentioning anything they might’ve mentioned/written a book on/devoted their life to. Listening/reading delays your reaction time, and as with other sports, speed is of the essence.
posted by yasaman (57 comments total) 91 users marked this as a favorite
 
Metafilter: ...
posted by The Manwich Horror at 1:54 PM on January 31 [23 favorites]


"P.S. Anyone who quotes William Shakespeare supports everything that was happening in 1594."

Crying.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:56 PM on January 31 [34 favorites]


I needed this.
posted by ducky l'orange at 2:04 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


What doth Dame Judi Dench do to thee ?
posted by MonsieurPEB at 2:06 PM on January 31


TL/DN
posted by BWA at 2:19 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Incredible. I was thinking for metafilter, what if, after you've posted 3 times in a controversial thread, you got a pop up with this article?
posted by latkes at 2:28 PM on January 31 [32 favorites]


18) Rebecca Solnit is among us
posted by armoir from antproof case at 2:31 PM on January 31 [11 favorites]


It’s fun to think of more in the same vein. Off the top of my head:

- Anything that can be read uncharitably, should. (This one just to condense a theme that runs through several of her points.)

- Anyone who causes a marginalized person to have a negative feeling of any kind—particularly one that has no relation to their marginalization—is a monster and must be condemned as such.

- Take every opportunity to take offense for every imagined slight on behalf of a group of people you do not belong to.
posted by jklaiho at 2:37 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


"anyone who could say 'people should bike more' is a fascist who needs crushing."

Oh, she's definitely a secret mefite.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:42 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


the best one:

Finally if the post is about something O.P. cares about, remember that you’ve cared about it longer, deeper, harder than they have, and that even someone’s care can be a basis for your triumph, along with condemning them for all those other things they evidently do not care about.
posted by chavenet at 2:44 PM on January 31 [14 favorites]


People should bike more, if they want to. I bike, and sometimes it sucks.
posted by ademack at 2:52 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'm calling bullsh** on this one. Am I late?
posted by kfholy at 3:00 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I did, literally, LOL at the last one. Perfect.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:43 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh, she's definitely a secret mefite.

I would fangirl so hard if this was true. I've loved Solnit's writing for years.
posted by May Kasahara at 3:47 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


#1 is such a good description of discussions here, I can't believe it.
posted by medusa at 3:47 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


i have several issues and concerns with the article posted above. i will lay them out briefly here (1/217)
posted by lalochezia at 3:49 PM on January 31 [34 favorites]


Don’t be fooled: the most bland, mundane posts are personal attacks against you. And if other commenters are enjoying an innocuous back and forth conversation, they are actually bullies having fun at your expense.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:56 PM on January 31 [8 favorites]


It's like a bindle-bag of logical fallacies. Delightful.
posted by fiercekitten at 4:09 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


It's like a bindle-bag of logical fallacies. Delightful.


It's like a free thread of game downloads, but instead they're nuggets of projected self-loathing.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 4:12 PM on January 31


19) always remember that you know much more about what the poster really meant than they do
posted by pyramid termite at 4:34 PM on January 31 [13 favorites]


7) If you’re a man and that O.P. is a woman, her facts are feelings and your feelings are facts, and those forty-seven increasingly lengthy responses you fired off were clearly a rational reaction. If she reacted negatively to them, do not forget to rebuke her for being emotional.

Today I (a female) have been walking around muttering to myself “Ask A Man”. You see, I work in the building trades (architect). I even looked into buying the domain askaman.com but it looks like it might be a japanese website already. But goaskaman.com is available……….

It can no longer be tallied, the number of times my knowledge and skill has been seen as a feeling rather than a fact. It is exhausting.
posted by tarantula at 4:42 PM on January 31 [25 favorites]


20) Be sure to preface your most judgmental and condescending comments with "gently," so that nobody can call you out on your snark.
posted by rpfields at 4:43 PM on January 31 [20 favorites]


21) Everyone but you is a toxic gaslighting narcissist
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:47 PM on January 31 [20 favorites]


4) ...Everyone but you is indifferent to the plight of the greater sage grouse and needs to be reminded of it.

Well. I am now aware of the greater sage grouse, it's monkier as... *peeks at wikipedia*... the "sagehen" and its plight. To which I am now firmly affixed. And the fact that until now not one comment has mentioned this, quite frankly, appalls me.

I am appalled. The Sagehen is appalled. There is... appellation... all around. Or, I don't know, indigestion. I'm not good with bird expressions. The wiki sagehen pic when you zoom in just looks alarmed. Maybe the photographer shouldn't have gotten that close.

Actually sagehens do seem pretty awesome. They're even a mascott for a division III team? How did I not know that? Wait, how did you not know that you sagehen hater? Your ignorance of the noble sagehen just knows no bounds. I can't take this. I will be in my study, learning more awesome facts about the sagehen that I already knew and you, in your ignorance, have fled from all your life.
posted by howbigisthistextfield at 4:51 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


If you’re having a stressful time offline, take it out on the people online. It’s their fault and will make everything better.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:51 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


In condemning the nemesis or main character, be sure to post one hundred times at minimum during a five hour period. General blind rage will do.

Oh dear. The noise of axe grinding is getting awfully loud in here. Or is that an ox being gored?
posted by holborne at 5:23 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


First!
posted by madcaptenor at 5:26 PM on January 31 [10 favorites]


I indeed identify with most of these, which, if I’m reading the tone of the article correctly, makes me the greatest poster of all time. Prove me wrong!
posted by slogger at 5:31 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


While we’re at it, everyone ever born should hold the values of this very minute, and anyone who did not because, say, they were late Victorians or early medieval peasants should die, except in their case they already did, but still.

MeFi loves this one. We do an exceptionally poor job of cultural relativity. Of course, me even using that phrase gives away that I am over forty. And probably means I should die, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:32 PM on January 31 [24 favorites]


I was going to comment but it's not my job to educate you.

: )
posted by Ayn Marx at 5:33 PM on January 31 [20 favorites]


"I meant that satirically. If you were anywhere near my level, you'd know that." [paraphrase]

--recently posted on another social medium by someone notorious for online vendettas.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:49 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


Jeez, I love everything Solnit has written..until now.

Attacking social media, young people, and wokeness, especially, she may accurately describe the nature of internet chatrooms (as they used to call them) pretty well, but she picks a pretty easy target.

I'm always disappointed when a fellow Older unloads on current culture like this.
posted by kozad at 6:14 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


kozad, I genuinely can't tell if you're being ironic or not given the thread topic.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:29 PM on January 31 [34 favorites]


This was so good I had to read it out loud to myself, in my best Mean Girls voice. It was glorious.
posted by Doleful Creature at 6:44 PM on January 31


Excellent. I don't know who pissed her off this time, but damn, I hope their ears are burning.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:20 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


“I stand with penguins in condemning the ice in your drink.” *mic drop*
posted by tamarack at 9:57 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


NRTFA!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:09 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Mod note: Please don't conduct your interpersonal battles in here. There's no point, we'll just delete such comments. Thank you kindly.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 11:09 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


She had me up until she mentioned koala bears. THEY'RE NOT BEARS. Clearly she knows nothing and is just being emotional.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:18 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Only idiots comment.
posted by Phanx at 12:48 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: like a bindle-bag of logical fallacies
posted by chavenet at 1:27 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


does anyone read the posts down here? (source)
posted by k3ninho at 4:43 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Zippity bop!
posted by flabdablet at 5:02 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Please don't conduct your interpersonal battles

Wait, really, in this thread… or is this ultrameta commentary, gosh, overthinking… or not?
posted by sammyo at 6:04 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


I don't know what's real anymore.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:37 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


It's irony and interpersonal battles all the way down.
posted by The Vintner of Our Disco Tent at 6:58 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Jeez, I love everything Solnit has written..until now.

Attacking social media, young people, and wokeness, especially, she may accurately describe the nature of internet chatrooms (as they used to call them) pretty well, but she picks a pretty easy target.

I'm always disappointed when a fellow Older unloads on current culture like this.


*chef's kiss*
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:40 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


I have flagged this post as fantastic and suggest it be added to the sidebar of noteworthy posts. I think the discussion here is, even if at points obscure and challenging to parse, relevant to all MeFites.
posted by cupcakeninja at 9:03 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


This essay is going to make a great system prompt for my next forumbot
posted by bigbigdog at 10:20 AM on February 1


Blown away that MeFi hired Rebecca Solnit to write the new site guidelines!

Can we get this list in the dropdown for the new flagging UI too?
posted by automatronic at 12:46 PM on February 1 [9 favorites]


a great system prompt for my next forumbot

I initially read this as "frumbot" and was both baffled and intrigued.
posted by praemunire at 2:00 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


This is such a perfect encapsulation of ... [waves arms around] ... that I can't believe it wasn't custom-written. Holy cats.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:29 AM on February 2


uncleazy, you are Rebecca Solnit and I claim my £5 (uh, reclaim my $5?).
posted by k3ninho at 12:44 PM on February 2



I initially read this as "frumbot" and was both baffled and intrigued.


does it levi-tate? or is it a cy-berg?
posted by lalochezia at 1:21 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


No, but it does have terrible pain in all the diodes down its left sidelock.
posted by flabdablet at 11:12 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Mod note: [btw, this has been added to the sidebar and Best Of blog, ya filthy animals!]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:06 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Attacking social media, young people, and wokeness, especially, she may accurately describe the nature of internet chatrooms (as they used to call them) pretty well, but she picks a pretty easy target.

I'm always disappointed when a fellow Older unloads on current culture like this.


metafilter isn't current culture lol
posted by Sebmojo at 10:44 AM on February 6


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