Comment sections are the WORST.
Last week, a funny thing happened that made me feel like I’ve kind of *made it* in the blogging world: someone called me a bitch in a comment on one of my posts.
Now, mind you, I hardly EVER get comments (you’re an awfully quiet bunch!), so it was quite surprising, dare I say even amusing, that I got a random negative comment. I marked it as spam, because this is my blog and I can do what I want, but I did take a screenshot of it (pay no attention to the Family Guy game push notification):
Anyway, off topic. Clearly this was a person who disagreed with my post, and wanted to express his opinion. Two things stand out to me here, though.
- He (I’m assuming it’s a guy, since the post was directed at guys) didn’t use his real name.
- His word choice.
Clearly he was somehow upset by my post, but is calling me a bitch the real way to solve anything? This brings me to my point. It seems that, more and more, the relative anonymity of the internet is making people increasingly hostile towards one another. If I had been talking about this, say, in a bar and he didn’t agree, would he have called me a bitch to my face? Maybe, if he really is that big of a douche, but my instinct is to say no. Why is it, then, when we see something we disagree with, or in general ANYTHING that we may not like for one reason or another, we turn into such animals?
Take the comments on the following reddit thread, for example. My dear friend Emma, who has two favorite sayings of “NOTHING GOOD EVER CAME FROM A PLAN!” and “ALWAYS SAY YES!” (caps for emphasis, because she really IS that enthusiastic about life, and I love it), had made a video FOR FUN one night called “What I Do When My Boyfriend is Out of Town”. It was clips of her doing things like wearing his pajama pants, not cleaning the kitchen, and wearing her retainers when she goes to bed. It was pretty hilarious, as Emma tends to be, and was literally made on a Saturday night when she was just hanging out. She’s spontaneous like that.
Well, she posted it to YouTube for her boyfriend and friends to see, and somehow it got posted to reddit, and trolling ensued:
Understand, here, I’m not trying to feed the trolls. I just want to know: what’s the purpose of this? Why do you need to lay into someone YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW? She made a video for fun, because she was bored – who are you to leave hateful comments on it? Had you seen her in public, and heard her speak, would you have gone up to her and said “Hey, your voice is really awful and you look super Jewish,”? Again, I’d hope probably not.
So why does it make it okay for us to hide behind our screens and say things like this online? What do you get out of it? Does it make you feel that much better about yourself that you’re a part of a community that is all about making awful comments about other people, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT? And I’m not trying to focus on just reddit, but it seems like that’s where a lot of the trolling lives. This happens everywhere.
I’m not going to say you don’t think it. That’s fine – we all have our opinions. There are times when I read BuzzFeed articles, or news stories, or any other piece of writing or journalism, and I think, “Wow, this person is an idiot,” or, “Why is this news? This is stupid. This person isn’t even NEWSWORTHY,” or something similar. But I don’t think it accomplishes anything to write those comments down, for everyone to see. It usually incites hate-filled rants from other people, or an argument in the comments section. Which doesn’t accomplish anything either.
I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that I’m frankly saddened that people feel it’s okay to spew hate at each other when we can’t see each other face to face. I’m not trying to make any outlandish statements about society here, but it really makes me question the world we live in, when you can’t even post a lighthearted video for your friends without worrying about whether or not the trolls will show up.
I welcome comments on this post – as long as they’re intelligent conversation, and you use your real name. Please.