Very sorry to read today that the tone of comments left on the online version of the Irish Times lacks the finesse of the hand-written letters received by the newspaper.
Stephen Collins has no explanation for this phenomenon, although he doesn't like it.
He cites a Eurobarometer survey that said that people were most influenced by traditional media in their vote on the last Referendum - only 7% saying that social media was an important source. Coincidentally, (and not mentioned by Collins) this is the same percentage as said political parties were important in providing information.
Age profile could have a lot to do with the tone to which Collins objects - in the 18-25 age group, 15% mentioned social media as an important source and 22% newspapers.
The survey is interesting, although there was no clear cut question on use of online rather than print or other media.
Collins certainly has a point on the rather odd way that political parties and tv and radio try to engage with social media, which they clearly feel obliged to do, although they simply don't "get" it.
Collins main point is that the print media should relax a bit about online media, as tv, radio and newspapers are still overwhelmingly the most influential means for receiving important political information.
There is a trend to rely increasingly on online sources, but it is a slow trend, concentrated in the younger age group.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next ten years.