What Compels You To Comment on Social Media?

For my project, I am investigating the comments on various social media communities. As I have begun my research, I have noticed the connection shared through comments. In some cases, users will really open up in their comments and share what they are feeling. While I am an avid user of social media, I rarely feel compelled to comment on others posts. I may “like” a picture or status, or even re-tweet but a comment is rare for me. I was wondering- what makes you feel like commenting? Is it based on the content, or on the user? Comment and let me know! Oh the irony..

4 thoughts to “What Compels You To Comment on Social Media?”

  1. Can you clarify what exactly you mean by “social media communities”? Are you talking the Big Ones – Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. – or just generally, more along the lines of news sites (Gawker, MSNBC, etc.)?

    While it’s not the [i]only[/i] factor, I definitely pay attention to the type of community a certain website has. Some websites are notoriously frustrating to comment on. You may post a perfectly civil comment and get torn apart for it, or just plain not taken seriously. So, generally speaking, if I feel like I can comment and receive a civil – not necessarily agreeable – comment in return, I’m more comfortable doing so.

    To give an example, I’m totally fine commenting on the World of Warcraft subreddit because I know the people there are generally nice and my posts will largely be taken seriously, but I would never even think of commenting the 4chan reddit. (I don’t actually read the 4chan reddit, but if I did, I still wouldn’t comment there because it’s 4chan.)

  2. Hey Emily, great question for your project! I think that I’m compelled to comment when a post asks the readers a specific question or presents something very compelling. If I feel like the content really needs more appreciation or really needs to be disagreed with/goes against my values I would comment.

  3. (Sorry, this is kind of a late reply) I agree with both Mitch and Hannah. Like you, I’m not one to comment very often at all (I’m thinking mainly about Facebook). When I do comment on Facebook, the circumstances usually fall into two specific categories: (1) I know both the user and the issue being discussed really well or (2) like Hannah said, I have knowledge that would be appreciated if I contributed it, or a viewpoint that I feel like needs to be heard.

    I don’t frequent many other social media platforms besides Facebook, but the one exception is Twitter. Here I think the social environment is completely restructured around commenting and sharing info, and thus I comment (reply/retweet) more liberally, just because it feels like the stakes are lower. This might also be because my Twitter network is smaller and more intimate than my Facebook network- the “risk” is lower too.

  4. I think for me, I give a like when a) I like the content or b) I like the person. Sometimes, if something has so many likes, I’ll like it by popular demand (I guess it’s kind of like group think?). However, I only comment if I have something to say (and usually only if it’s really worthwhile). But, I won’t comment on something that will generate a lot of notifications (because they’re annoying). If it’s a generic profile picture that deserves a “pretty!” comment, I usually won’t do it because a lot of people are going to comment. But if it is funny/an inside joke or something I just can’t pass up, I’ll comment. I also won’t comment on huge public things, like an article with hundreds of thousands of likes. I like to keep my commenting for personal interactions. So I guess it’s a combination of the content of what I’m commenting on, as well as the user.

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