This Piece May Contain Offensive Language
Have you ever found yourself in the comments section of a specific post or video and had the urge to reply to some asinine comment made by an intellectually stunted jackass? If you have, then you know how infuriating the whole process of “discussing” any one topic on the internet with strangers can be. Why do you let yourself get so worked up, though? More specifically, why do you bother to reply to one of these awful comments in the first place?
The problem stems from our desire to educate someone when they are obviously wrong or misinformed. Other times we want to engage in a civil conversation on a heated topic because we feel our opinions hold value. Here’s the thing; it doesn’t hold value to the other person, and chances are near 100% that the stranger on the other end of the debate has no interest in holding any sort of meaningful conversation. They either want to annoy (troll) or spread their message with no intention of listening to the opinions of others. While these interactions seem mildly annoying, the unwanted negativity affects you more than you realize.
There’s no reason you should engage strangers online in the cesspools of comments sections. Even if they seem rational, chances are pretty good a normal discussion will devolve into name calling and irritation. There’s just something about not seeing the person on the other end of the conversation that makes them “less” real and therefore unimportant. Now, when you see someone making clear and obvious derogatory statements, you should NEVER engage them. They are seeking to cause an overly emotional response. Ignore. Those. Assholes!
You’re probably thinking, “I don’t fall for stupid traps like that.” Don’t you, though? Unless you stay away from comments sections and negative people all together, I’m sure many of you have felt the urge to respond to something you’ve read. I know I have. Especially when I first started reading comments from flat Earthers on NASA’s Facebook posts.
A good troll is one who makes others react in specific ways. For instance, a lot of flat Earthers say outlandish things for attention. Not all of them actually believe the nonsense they spew; they just want to ruin the day of others by engaging in unhealthy dialogue and purposely counterpointing common beliefs. Think about that for a minute. They go out of their way to spread negativity and misinformation to make the world a worse place. Why?
Simple, they haven’t found meaning or purpose in their own lives. So instead of doing something to change their place in this world, they seek to bring others down to their pitiful level. This is why you see horrendous comments by anonymous people on platforms such as YouTube. For instance, here’s a screenshot I just took of a random comment on a random YouTube video about American culture.
Who speaks to others like that in real life? Answer: almost no one. Normal people don’t say things like this outside of the digital realm because there are real world consequences when you do or say offensive things. For instance, Mr. Larry Larry up there would get punched in the face very quickly for his racist remarks. But let’s say you’re smart enough to avoid reading awful comments like this. Does that mean you’re out of the woods when it comes to negativity?
Here’s the awful truth about internet trolls and comments sections: they are the very tip of the shit covered iceberg. These are the easiest and often first sources of online negatively you encounter. But there are much worse things out there that you probably engage with every day without realizing it.
That’s right, the poster boy of negative energy himself. Don’t worry, I’m not going to rip into Trump or his policies. I’m referring to what he represents in the US: intolerance and divisiveness. Whether that’s on purpose is a topic for a different day, but it’s hard to argue the state of the country since last year’s election. Of course, you can’t put the blame solely on Donald Trump for that. He was just the final blast of a storm decades in the making.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with you on a personal level, though. Well, if you watch TV, talk to other people, or go online ever, you’ve encountered the negativity from his followers, opposition, and the media who covers him. Wherever you go, politics, racism, and sexism have catapulted to the top of the list of discussion topics. And if you’re like me, you have a hard time ignoring the constant bombardment of negative energy these topics bring.
You can’t let yourself get sucked into the shit-storm, though. No matter how many negative opinions, awful and or misleading news articles, or soul-crushing real-world stories come your way, you must stay positive. If you let the world bring you down you may never come out of the darkness again.
My advice, live for yourself and your family. Focus on what makes you happy and achieving your dreams. If you really do want to help the world by counteracting all of this negativity, do it by coupling a positive attitude with useful actions. Meaning, spread positivity and help others who need it while ignoring those who aim to bring you down. And for the love of all that is sacred, STAY AWAY FROM THE COMMENTS SECTION!
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