Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

Voice the official Citizen Wausau blog

Where Articulate Discussion Goes to Die

by on May 21st, 2008

I’m a lurker. I like to look at message boards and blogs and just watch. Sometimes, I feel unqualified to add to a discussion, or my points have already been made by someone else. Other times, I don’t feel overly compelled to add to the discourse.

Then, there’s the Wausau Daily Herald Message Board.

I just want to say up front, that this is no indictment of the WDH moderators or employed contributors to the boards. I respect their attempts to mediate disputes and make sure that the entire thing doesn’t devolve into adult third-grade. Unfortunately, at times that seems like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

I respect good, honest discussion. I dig the free exchange of ideas meant not to belittle, but to encourage thinking, and, to be fair, you can find that on the boards. However, I find myself continuing to marvel at the level of anger and ignorance that I find on the board, and how, when the two collide, the results can be embarrassingly bad.

Bad, because it continually reminds me that Wausau isn’t as progressive as I thought (or hoped) it was. Bad, because solid ideas get buried under an avalanche of insults, bad grammar and spelling, and statements that seem to be outrageous for the sake of it. Bad, because it seems like people aren’t there to discuss, but to “win.”

Is it me? Am I naïve? Are my expectations too high? I’ll let the CW community chew on this one!

Tags & Categories