Social media has opened the door for every person to have an opinion, on any topic, at any time.
That can be a good thing. It gives a voice to people who may otherwise have felt too shy or reserved to ever comment.
It also allows for broader distribution of information, opens up the floor (so to speak) for constructive and informed discussion and debate on both sides of a subject, and helps keep families and friends connected despite distance.
On the flip side it can draw out the worst in people. Some of the positive arguments for the value of social media, can also be the basis of arguments against the public forum available to everyone.
Too many people make comment simply because the open forum is available.
They are not commenting with additional, considered or valuable information to help others develop informed and educated opinion.
They are commenting because they can - often with a snide remark, a nasty quip or simply in an effort to draw attention.
It is is driven by a 'look at me attitude' - the class clown of the cyber world.
Knee-jerk, ill-informed and nasty comment do little more than create negativity and undermine confidence of others.
Some use fake names to peddle destructive comment, others can simply become complacent about consideration of people, forgetting that others in a social media conversation or linked to a post are real, living, breathing, feeling people.
It is a behaviour that can inflame the anxious disposition of some and destroy the confidence of those who actually have something of value to say.
It is this behaviour that inhibits the value of constructive, well thought out discussion in the new world of conversation and debate.
Too often people comment just because they can, with throw away lines they consider funny when they are not. These comments can be called out by others who identify the inappropriateness of such input.
While the author of the original comment may respond with a defense along the lines of "I was only joking". Unfortunately they have already begun to paint themselves in an unsavoury light.
A joke makes people laugh - not cringe with disgust.
So please people think about the impact of a comment before you make it.
Consider the topic, how something can be interpreted, whether you are prepared for the backlash, whether or not your input is even necessary.
While you feel anonymous on your keyboard others know and remember the class clown, or in this case the keyboard warrior.
Just because you can comment, doesn't mean you should.
Think twice before you hit send.