A message to people being shitty on the internet

Are you an asshole on the internet? It’s possible. I’ve certainly been called that before and they’re not wrong. The way I see it, there are two types of assholes on the internet (this statement is 100% false as there are actually millions of different types of assholes but for the sake of this rant, just pretend it’s all black and white).
1) The people who say obnoxious things into the ether as either jokes or as provocateurs. These things are generally about people and things that person has no personal ties to and , in reality, don’t matter. The aim is to make a joke, for better or worse. I fall firmly in this group. Nothing I say on the internet really matters. Nothing I say on the internet is even that serious. These very words I’m writing right now included.
2) People who say shitty things of no comedic value directly to other people online when no one asked them for their input but they do it anyway cause…well…they’re bored or just contrarian assholes. Things like “You suck” or “I fucking hate you” you are examples. These people, in general, lack any creativity in their asshole-ic ways and serve only as frowny faced trolls to the entire internet around them.

Now, this is something I’ve harped on before so my apologies if I sound like a broken record. But I wanted to focus on one particular barb that I seem to get with some regularity that truly makes my blood boil. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause , when a person says it, they’re just simply being lame as fuck.
Here’s what happens.
I make music for a living. This has been established. I also spend a decent amount of time online joking around. It’s fun for me. I enjoy it.
I write a tweet or a status update on facebook. This is always a dumb joke or maybe something slightly more observational. Regardless, it’s generally as harmless as a new born faun.
Then I get a response like this:
Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 6.25.51 PM
I read this and think of how I should respond. The correct answer is “Not at all” but I’m simply not that strong willed a man. So, I consider writing “FUCK YOUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!”. However, That’s a bit harsh, considering I know this persons intent wasn’t to elicit that response. In fact, I know that person is just busting my balls and, at the same time, strangely telling me they want to hear more music. (Side note: The dude who wrote this tweet and I exchanged a few tweets and they were totally cordial so , please, don’t be an asshole to him or whatever. I merely used his tweet as an example cause it’s the most recent “Why aren’t you making music constantly!?” related tweet i’ve gotten). Still, as someone who likes making jokes on the internet, being told to shut up and make music, as if both aren’t simultaneously possible is pretty fucking annoying. Especially considering I’ve been pretty prolific over the last few years and even have a new album finished at this very moment. If my joke/tweet wasn’t funny to you, fair enough. I’d rather someone write “Not funny” (which, by the way, would still be unnecessary and shitty to do) than to patronize me like I’m some worker bee that can only sit in a studio cranking out music 24/7 and do nothing else whatsoever. By the way, that’s not how making music works. Turns out, when you make music for a living, there’s tons of downtime. Why do you think every time you see a musician in the studio, they’re playing with their phones? but I digress.

This whole thing bothers me. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause the person who’s writing it is 100% always and forever just being shitty. Without fail.This is not to say they’re bad people. This isn’t even saying that their intent is to piss me off. In fact, I’d venture to say that people who write that sentence are brain farting right back at me. But, you gotta understand…it’s shitty and shows a really poor instinct to be “That guy”. The guy who feels the need to respond to everything ESPECIALLY when they have nothing of value to add. This particular type of comment is missing the point on so many levels it’s hard to even begin to explain it. It’s like when a person asks a musician “Why can’t you make an album like your first one again?”. To truly explain that would take so much time, it’s never worth it. In the same note, for me to explain, in 140 characters or less, why I’m not making music all the fucking time and wasting my time writing a tweet that took 8 seconds to think up, is simply not worth the breath. In reality, 9/10 times, when I respond to these types of comments , with something snarky, the writer responds in a completely apologetic tone. Surprised I’d even respond in the first place. As if I don’t read my own twitter feed and have real human thoughts. In reality, they didn’t even mean to be shitty, They seemingly got caught up in a moment and couldn’t help themselves.

I’m not writing this as a “Leave Blockhead alone!!!” manifesto. Cause, truth be told, this is a minor annoyance at best. I’m more saying this to maybe make people stop and consider what they’re adding to a discussion when they write petty, short sighted and pointless remarks lacking any humor or value. It’s really that simple. Unless you have something constructive or funny to add, why are you talking?

The faceless nature of the internet has got us too comfortable. It’s like the world is one big youtube comment section. With twitter and facebook, people have access to musicians, actors, politicians, etc like never before. I could literally tell the president of the USA to eat a bag of dicks and dog shit right now if i wanted to (I would never do that though). It’s THAT open. While I do see some good in this kind of open forum, motherfuckers still should know their role. If I’m a celebrity that did something crazy…like Justin Bieber or Chris Brown. I’d fully expect a shit storm in my mentions on the regular. Same way I’d expect tons of support from fans and naked pics from underaged girls in my DM’s. It’s really par for the course. But if I’m me…a niche musician with a small fan base who’s biggest offense is making an album you didn’t like and making bad jokes on the internet, what’s the point of needlessly pushing my buttons? I mean, I see why people do it (trolls are called trolls for a reason)…but really…why? Is it fun? Hell, maybe it is. I’ve just never been the type who purposely says petty shit to people I don’t know with the sole intention to be getting their attention. It’s like the people who feel the need to correct grammar on twitter. It’s fucking twitter! Much like there is no crying in baseball, there are no grammar rules on twitter. It is the Deadwoods of grammar. Lawless. God forbid you have a typo! But if you see a grammar error, a typo or you just wanna be one of those people who vocalizes every stupid thought you have in your head directly at a person who has not addressed you even remotely, at least make it funny. Cause, otherwise, you’re just another voice from the peanut gallery saying something of no constructive value for the sake of hearing your own voice (or reading your own words, in this case).
If you’re offended by something I said, then I get it. I have it coming. Even if you are being an overly sensitive pussy about a joke…I get that. You ride razor scooters and I made a joke about them so you’re taking offense. That’s fine. you’re standing up for your razor scooter lifestyle. Do you! But , otherwise? Stop it. That’s my entire message. Stop it. In fact, I could have saved a lot of time writing this whole thing and just had those two words under the header but I’m a sucker for long winded explanations. Oh well, too late. But seriously, next time you (not anyone in particular) get the urge to write something shitty to someone else (be it a celebrity on twitter, a “friend” on facebook , a niche beat maker or President Obama) online, ask yourself “What good will this do?”. If the only answer you get out of it is “It will annoy the person I’m writing this to” then either don’t write it or accept that you are, in fact, an asshole who is shitty to people on the internet…and not that awesome first kind I described earlier either. you’re the second kind. Shame on you!

31 thoughts on “A message to people being shitty on the internet

  1. I like the idea of Obama being a niche beat maker. We just don’t know about it cuse Block wont post his demo review outta respect.

  2. Hey man, I’m just a lurking follower of yours but I gotta say I love the message you’re putting out here. I just wrote a blog about online trolls similar to this one for my internship but you explained this idea so much better and more elegantly than I did. It’s real nice to get into your thoughts and think of you as a real person like me along with an artist who puts out music I really dig. Thanks.

      • Right but why doesn’t” shut up and make an album” fall into the first category ?

      • cause it’s not a joke. It’s an obnoxious statement (and an ignorant one showing a complete misunderstanding of how things work on earth) made specifically to poke the bear in the zoo. If there was a way to phrase that and make it humorous, it wouldn’t bother me. But , when it’s not, it just comes off as petty.

  3. Just brainstorming here…don’t really know the answer.

    Maybe one reason people interact with you like that is bc you’re in this weird middle ground between celeb and nameless joe… therefore, people recognize that you have a lot of valid stuff to share publicly but also that you can and want to be treated like a normal person. And I think they may misconstrue “cutting straight to the chase and ripping on you like they would their best friend” with “treating you like a normal person.” Does that make any sense?

    A second reason might be that they see an interaction on twitter, etc. with someone you DO know really well and have inside jokes with…and they notice that you fully responded to that person, so (without understanding the context) they feel that they should act the same way to get a response out of you too.

  4. I’m a troll sometimes. I really enjoy it sometimes when I’m bored.

    Sometimes I’m ashamed mostly from getting on a few people’s nerves before thinking I was cute. You included and rob sonic ( which lead to a blocking once for a short time haha )

    I’m weening Myself. I got too excited interacting my first year on twitters haha

      • Originality has to be a factor in there as well. I bet the tweeter you used as an example believed he was giving you a unique original thought at the time…as did everyone else who has told you the exact same thing…

      • I feel like none of them put any thought into it. They saw me post something that they most likely didn’t care to see in their timeline and reacted with “Stop writing dumb shit and make music instead”. It’s as harmless as it is pointless, and that’s the problem.

  5. Tell us how you really feel 🙂 you’re passionate about it, that’s one reason you music is so fab and unique….passion! Thx for that SGreathouse

  6. My friends and I (back in the message board days) used to refer to this type of behavior as “words on a screen.” Basically meaning that when your face or name isn’t attached people feel free to say whatever they wish. Which most of the time equals troll-like responses.

  7. I think one of the reasons for this kind of behaviour is the “like”-thing we have going on. I mean that expressing rude opinions in general will get you credit from people who kind of feel the same way but didn’t think of posting it because they felt it was stupid. BUT seeing someone else posting it made it funny for them.
    It’s the internet equivalent of a dude telling one of your female friends she can’t really get away with those pants in that shape. “I can’t believe he just said that”.
    Add to that the internet is way more impersonal.

    • In your case the poster probably thought other people are waiting for your next album and was hoping to get attention for saying it unnuanced. He didn’t expect you to read it, he knew it was unnuanced so it was meant as a joke.

      The “you suck” comments on youtube on the other hand are probably made by teens who are insecure just because they’re at that age and they project their own inadequacies on other people to feel better.

      • Nah, twitter doesn’t work like that. His comment goes to me and only I can see it. It was definitely meant for me to see and digest. He definitely wasn’t joking but, even if he was, what’s the joke?

  8. My first mistake when I first started twitter was I favorited my favorite artists. And every time someone would tweet my dumb brain treated it like a text message from my friends and family

  9. oh, fuck.
    I have to say, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.
    I can’t find where you posted it and I doubt you remember, but this one time I got a twitter account. I then read a joke you posted about Eminem and tweeted some of it to you, (I kept his name out of it) something about Juggalos and weight lifting, whatever. I said it made my day. I then read how much you hated that, when people tweet a joke back to you as if you didn’t know it was funny. I deleted it pretty quickly after that.
    I shouldn’t be on twitter.
    I need to defend this one tweet. I’m sure you understand how that feels.
    I’m from a tiny town in northwestern lower michigan, next to Torch Lake.
    There’s nothing for jobs, it’s a tourist trap. We have a gas station.
    Eminem, Kid Rock, Tim Allen and some others own McMansions there.
    I don’t really hate them for it, if they didn’t own them surely someone else would.
    It’s just…kinda funny(?) how million dollar houses are unoccupied 9 months out of the year, and my Mom has to has to work double shifts to keep the house warm and the pipes unfrozen. She’s 56, and not there to feel the heat.
    It’s not their fault, I know, I know, but shit-a-goddamnit-all-to-fuck.
    I don’t know anyone in that area who honestly listens to Eminem and what you wrote really resonated with me and that’s my story
    BONUS ROUND: They have a bait shop/boat gas station on the lake my friend worked at when Kid Rock released that godawful song.
    You know the one,(i hope not :/) with sweet home alabama and werewolves of london?
    That’s the lake he’s talking about. Radio played it BACK TO BACK TO BACK.
    Kid Rock comes in to have his yacht gassed up. Does not tip like the smug prick he is

    TL;DR: fuck bruh sorry I don’t twitter good

  10. ohshi, honestly?
    didn’t mean to write a book about it.
    Figured you wouldnt even post this.
    I’m really diggin B&W and Cat Food’s neat too. Stay humble!

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