Getting Into Fights on the Internet

Today, on January 23rd 2018, the winter blues hit me hard.

I woke up to sloppy wet snow falling outside. It’s windy and completely grey everywhere I look. And the sidewalks are covered in brown mush; a combination of slush and leftover poo. That’s gross, I know. But it’s true. Some Chicago people like to do this very rude thing where they don’t pick up after their dog in the winter, as if they think the snow piles will eat it or something. (But they don’t.) And so nasty little land mines are everywhere at the moment.


I knew I had fallen deep into the dark hole of winter when I caught myself almost getting into an internet fight this morning. Do you ever do that? Find yourself responding to some moron on Facebook and you have to go, “WAIT. Stop. What are you doing? This is not okay. No. No. No.”

It was about a dog video. Imagine that. I found someone who posted, “no pit bulls should ever be trusted, they’ll turn on anyone,” and I went into ATTACK mode. Oh hell no. Pit bulls can be trusted, me when I’m on a rampage- not so much.

Who does this dumb person think they are making such an ignorant comment on THE FACEBOOK? Well, I’ll show them. I’m going to educate them and give them a piece of my mind. Look at me go!

And then I stopped and reminded myself that never in the history of ever, has barking back to a stranger comment on the internet turned out okay. So I’m here blogging about it instead.

Brene Brown has some really interesting chapters in her book about the way we treat each other online that I’ve been trying (key word TRYING) to keep with me. She said the most common people you’ll find speaking up in internet land are those that are very passionate about something. Take for example pit bull-hater-lady vs me (crazy-dog-lover.) We’re on two opposite side of the spectrums, which is why the internet is full of so many crazy comments. The middle people (perhaps like you) tend to stay silent (and sane.)

She went on say that the internet has us more divided than ever. And yet also connected… Which is weird to think about. During the election especially, you might have found yourself bonding with strangers and suddenly begrudging people you’ve known your entire life. I know I did. I wanted to virtual high five people I’d never met who were “on my side.” Look at us, we think the same! We’re the best!

Then there were the others… The people I’ve known since childhood, but now couldn’t believe they felt how they did about certain topics. And as if I’d suddenly been crowned KING SHIT I felt superior to them. Because MY VIEWS were the RIGHT VIEWS, duh.

Brown then went on to ask- “If you were to get sick, who would be the person to bring you soup? If you had cancer and needed a ride to chemo, who would take you?”

That line really stuck with me.

And no, I don’t believe she was implying that if you have racist assholes in your life you need to sympathize with them. But chances are, those aren’t the ones who would bring you soup anyway. I think she meant that we shouldn’t be so quick to dehumanize people we’ve known forever simply because they share different political views than we do at the moment.

I guess I could just ask you, how do you think Brown meant it?

All in all, when I find myself wanting to respond to crappy comments on the internet that don’t sit well with me I ask myself one simple question, “will posting this put more light back in the world?” And when it’s me just bitching back to an internet stranger, like a toddler shouting over another toddler, I think we all know the answer is typically no.

On that note, I need to go to do some good vibe writing, mantra chatting, crazy crystal shit because I’m not about to let this day get away from me.




  1. January 23, 2018 / 11:06 am

    I don’t understand people who argue on the internet. Like, what’s the point? Just click away and save your energy for more useful things, because you’re never going to get everyone to agree with you, whether you’re right or wrong.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Courtney
    January 23, 2018 / 11:38 am

    I own a pit bull + I think I would have had to go off on that person haha. I’m so protective of her, it’s not even funny! She’s the sweetest thing ever and I wish people could see that side of pit bulls!

    • January 23, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      I am constantly advocating for pit bulls. We have two (a part pit rescue and a mostly pit puppy that we adopted). Plus, a few of our friends have pit bulls and they are the sweetest and most patient dogs. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the big heart and sweet eyes that we do.

      I will say that when we took our pup to the pet store and Lowe’s over the weekend, dozens of people asked to pet him and told us how sweet he was ♥

  3. January 23, 2018 / 11:54 am

    I’ve got a Chow Chow mix, another breed that some people have negative feelings towards. My mother-in-law tried to convince me to not adopt her, but I knew I loved her right away. My pupper has been nothing but perfect towards other dogs and strangers (except that dang mail man than insists on coming every day, he must be barked at). You cant judge a dog by its breed. You can’t read comments on Facebook- you’ll get work yourself into a rage. Stick tot he blog where you are surrounded by faithful followers 😉 and kind comments.

  4. Amanda
    January 23, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    I’m in the middle of her book right now and I found her insight to be so spot on! It’s hard to scroll past something you find ignorant on the Internet without getting involved but you’re so right – chiming in isn’t always as productive as you’d like it to be.

  5. Sheri
    January 23, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Thank you for all of this! About a month ago I just stopped looking at social media. I just couldn’t handle any of it anymore. Especially all of the rescues that I followed on FB and Instagram. Humans can be such jerks and I had to step away from it all. Luckily, you have a blog and I can check in on Harlow every once in a while. 🙂 We have a pit bull, Roo. She is the most precious, gentle creature and our family is very protective of her.

  6. January 23, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    I don’t really go on Facebook anymore since election time. I realized a lot of people I thought would “bring me soup” probably wouldn’t be there for me if I needed help. People always have something negative to say and try to bait others into arguing with them. I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with any dog breed! It’s all about what the dog is taught and the love they’re given. I have a German Shepherd mix and he’s mixed (we did a doggy DNA test) with mostly breeds that people think are dangerous but he’s the biggest mush ball ever!

  7. Melanie
    January 23, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    I literally just did this 5 minutes ago before I read your post. My friend’s boyfriend posted a video on FB about rude Eagles fans. I live in Philadelphia and am always secretly fascinated by the hatred for this city’s sports fans (not always entirely unwarranted, mind you) so I decided to read the comments. But one person – who, granted, I don’t even know – commented that he hopes the team’s plane crashes on the way to the game. I literally never comment on anything on FB but I’m sorry, that’s just wrong and I couldn’t let it go. I said that I knew we didn’t know each other, but that comment was really out of line. And of course, I totally regretted it because he instantly came back with a “go crawl back in your hole and pout because I wasn’t talking to you” comment. Very nice. I was so annoyed with myself because I KNEW it wasn’t worth getting into, but yet somehow in this case I couldn’t help myself. Ugh.

  8. Laura
    January 23, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    Oh god people who make ignorant comments about dogs infuriate me. My husband always tells me not to engaged in the online drama but I can’t help it. I got into a HUGE fight in an online pregnancy forum when I got ripped to shreds for saying we are not giving up our pit bull when we have a baby. I swear my blood pressure was through the roof. You’re so right, nothing good comes of it but I can’t help myself!

  9. January 23, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Most people who use the internet will get into one of these fights at some point

  10. January 23, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    I’m reading Braving the Wilderness right now. I feel like she would be so proud right now. But the assholes that talk shit about dogs… they deserve some nasty words sometimes.

  11. January 23, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    There are so many people, I feel, that go on social media just to get a rise out of others. Not to mention, it is so much easier to argue behind a computer and keyboard. Sometimes people bring up really interesting and educational facts, other times people just name call. For the most part I scroll past stuff like that, but I will admit that I have fallen victim to getting in an argument over the internet. I can say, though, that I do not name call even though I say it in my head. Oddly enough, I just adopted a pit bull puppy and have friends who own pit bulls. Any dog has the ability to be mean, it doesn’t mean that they will though. I have a rescue pup who is part pit and she is the most family friendly dog. She will be ten this year and has yet to murder our entire house. There is still time though 😉

  12. January 23, 2018 / 10:41 pm

    Hey Taylor — Just wanted to say how much I appreciated this post! It was thought-provoking and challenged me to reframe the way I think about interacting…both online and IRL. Here’s to spreading some more light!

  13. January 24, 2018 / 8:13 am

    Oh man. Yes to all of this. Esp the part about pit bulls being amazing 😉
    (We did a DNA test on our dogs and one came back with pit, shepherd, and chow chow (+ other) in her. Some people wrinkled their faces when I excitedly said she was part pit. Ummm, HELLO. Why wouldn’t I want a sweet, cuddly, protective breed in my dog’s chemical makeup?? Yes, please!)
    But more on your point. My grandma is extremely opinionated on politics and women’s rights. And unfortunately it’s 100% opposite me. It’s hard for me to get past. Really hard. But I know that she loves me and supports me, and it’s just something we’ll always differ on.

  14. January 24, 2018 / 8:16 am

    I will keep your words with me forever. I have ended 3 friendships over comments on Facebook in the last 2 months alone. Honestly though…I am the one who normally keeps quiet on the web but certain people that I have kept quiet about,I realized have fundamentally changed and their core views are exactly the opposite of mine and my values. I get what you are saying but sometimes…those are the red flags that it is time to end relationships that do not bring you joy or promote your core values. I am trying to bite my tongue with the people who would bring me soup, or pick me up off the side of the road, even though politically we do not agree…but to their defense, they are not internet douche bags about it either.

  15. January 24, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Thanks for sharing this. Social media convos can be very toxic.

    I don’t have an answer, as I tend to not engage anymore. But I to think that maybe the answer lies in us Americans (in general) learning how to have healthier discourse. We put our identity into everything — WE ARE OUR OPINIONS. So much so that a disagreement becomes a defense of our souls, our core values, rather than an exploration in different perspectives. Everything is so ego-driven, even if it’s “well-meaning.”

    I just think about how in France, they may “argue” about everything in a conversation, but it’s considered stimulating and you learn a lot. And then you move on and it’s not so personal. I think people are more similar in most cases than we think and there’s a lot more middle-ground to be found, but the USA promote extremes, especially as part of exerting one’s uniqueness and identity. This is ultimately divisive and harmful. And if we don’t talk to people unless they believe like us or at least truly listen, we miss out and so do they.

  16. January 31, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I understand the struggle! People lacking tact, intelligence on what they’re talking about, and overall manners really twists my panties. What’s with everyone being in attack-mode all the time? I have to remind myself daily not to use my energy feeding the negative. There’s plenty of that. Keep up that crazy crystal shit!

  17. February 10, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    When I choose whether or not to engage with someone spouting off ignorant or hateful comments, I evaluate how much I care about the topic at hand, the time and energy I have to engage, and who else might be watching the conversation. Because it’s not always about changing someone else’s mind, but letting silent spectators see another (more loving and intelligent) perspective. Frequently I just hide stupidity, or block if necessary. But sometimes it’s important enough to respond, and when I do, inevitably someone messages me privately to thank you me for saying something.

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