What Makes Us Comment On Social Media?

My proposed question is: What makes us comment on social media?

When we see a post on Facebook or other social media, why do we comment? Is it usually a visceral reaction? What makes us hold back from sharing our thoughts?

Many times I have spent 2-10 minutes crafting a response to something to ultimately decide not to post it. Sometimes it’s because I think my comment is controversial and I don’t want to offend anyone. I also don’t want to track the comment and follow up on others responses. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know the person well enough and suddenly feel it is not my place to contribute.

Often, on Intellectual Roundtable, I feel my desired responses are actually just more questions without conclusions so I don’t think I should share those. I also feel the void when I put something out into the world and no one responds. When participating in conversations in person, with strangers or friends, I am much more likely to voice my thoughts because I know I am likely to get a response.

Since I wrote this I’m going to submit it, but I oddly thought at the very end here I should delete the whole question. It feels really obvious and suddenly not like an intellectual question at all but just a way to feed the ego.

Perhaps this is why I don’t post many personal things on social media! 🙂

Related questions: What do you get out of social media? What social media platforms do you use? Why do we care what strangers think of us? How can we build confidence?

6 thoughts on “What Makes Us Comment On Social Media?”

  1. Great question, Meagan! Three main reasons I comment on a social media post:

    1. I want to create a culture of commenting on (perhaps even sharing of) worthwhile posts. I hope that others will reciprocate. Usually I know the person; they’ve made an excellent point; and I want to recognize I’ve read and really taken to heart what they wrote in a way that a simple “Like” won’t do.

    2. I know the person; they’ve posted something I disagree with; and I want to find out how they’ve come to a certain way of thinking. I have found that — done the correctly — you can actually have constructive conversations on social media by asking respectful questions.

    3. It doesn’t really matter if I know or don’t know the person; they’ve made an offensive or derisive comment; and it requires challenging, especially because it’s made on social media and can hurt others. If appropriate, I try to comment in a way that keeps this person as a Facebook Friend.

    Of course, I also have written and deleted my comments. However, for me it’s usually because my post is really poor writing, and I would fail to offer anything constructive.

  2. I’ve written and deleted comments as well. Many times. I almost never comment on strangers social media posts, unless I want to say something positive. If a person is being offensive or spewing hatred, I ignore it as it is nearly impossible to change that individual’s mind on what they believe or are saying, and, calling them out just makes them dig in deeper.
    I think that’s why I like intellectual roundtable. It is a platform to voice opinions, occasionally very different, and discuss topics with people who place value on everyone’s right to their own beliefs, even when they don’t agree.

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