Do we have an obligation to respond to posts and comments directed at us on internet forums? I don't just mean this site, either: Reddit, YouTube comments, anywhere that people are likely to engage in discussions.
I ask this because there seems to be a trend in these places I frequent where people, upon voicing an unpopular opinion, become indignant at having to explain themselves: whether it's politics, religion, or discussing which Godzilla films are the best, I see this crop up everywhere. In those cases, wouldn't it be better to just be silent and move on?
Sometimes I refrain from responding to posts on this forum for various reasons, and one of those reasons is if I don't think I can respond without sounding childish. However, many people (myself included, I'm not perfect) will instead choose to dig a deeper hole for themselves, or say things like, "I don't have to justify my views." Even if you're correct, it comes off sounding like you're too thin-skinned to handle criticism. Eventually people start turning on you, not because what you say is necessarily incorrect, but simply because "fuck you."
Is there an obligation to respond in these situations, or are there times when a "down-vote and move on" approach is more warranted?