I feel as though I do one of these kinda rants on a yearly basis. Feel free to skip it if you’ve heard it before.
There is something about the seasonal change that brings about a certain vibe on the internet. Perhaps it’s just me, but the climate on my social networks has been cloudy with a chance of dickheads lately. Now, this could be entirely self imposed , as my twitter and facebook are common place for me just saying some dumb shit. Typically, they are things we call “jokes” and they’re harmless but , hey, we all have our triggers and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t them expect to get a slight rise out of some people. It also doesn’t help that popping off at the mouth is so easy now. There was a time when, if someone said something publicly that upset another person, the outraged person would have to go home, type up a strongly worded letter on an actual typewriter (or even handwrite it!) and send it to the person via actual mail. I’m guessing, in most cases, this arduous process led to that outrage never leaving the person’s typewriter and vanishing into the ether. Today though? Wooooo! If I write “I think red starbursts taste better than orange starbursts”, everyone on earth has the power to tell me I’m a stupid piece of shit within seconds of reading those very words. We’ve come a long way, guys.
In my everyday life, I’m a very non-confrontational person. I avoid arguments. Especially petty ones. But there is something about some smug prick on his phone or laptop , typing a snarky remark to a stranger that no one asked for that just cannot be ignored. So I rarely do ignore them. If , for no other reason, to say to them “Hey dick, I actually read this shit…stop being an asshole”. Sure, I could be a bigger person and ignore it. I probably should be. But, to me, that just justifies their behavior. I realize this all comes off as overly sensitive. But I feel it’s more about justice and breaking down peoples entitlement. The truth of it all is I’m never sitting here with my feelings hurt. I barely even have “feelings”. Some dude tells me my music sucks, I don’t wallow and question my self worth. I’d more likely write him “was that necessary?” cause, well, it never is. I suppose it has more to do with me wishing people would think before they write. I want to live in a world where people consider the things they say before pressing “send”. It’s bigger than me ever being “offended” or “Butt hurt”. It’s about common decency towards complete strangers. Add in that these people are often fans of mine and it’s even crazier but I guess that’s equally part of the problem. People feel entitled to let the world know every fucking thought they have and, really, no one needs to hear that from anyone. From a loser on twitter with one follower to Kanye west to Obama. Some thoughts should just stay inside forever for the betterment of all parties involved.
The funniest thing about responding to people who troll on the internet is that, about 50% of the time, they are like “Whoa, I didn’t think you’d respond! Thanks!”. And therein lies the problem. That means they’re doing it just to do it. Cause they can. It’s like going up to someone and slapping them then thanking them for punching you in return. I guess my brain doesn’t work like that. I’ve never craved negative attention from strangers or, especially, from an artist I might admire. But the lines of communication are such that it’s too easy. Sometimes I think about what life is like for actual famous people. At some point, they must just stop looking at anything related to them cause the things people say are so loathsome. Like, I think Kim Kardashian is probably a shitty human being. But can you , for one moment, imagine being her while she reads her instagram comments? She must weep constantly. And you may be saying “But you just called her a piece of shit!”. Yes, I kinda did. But i didn’t write it directly to her or tag her in this post to make sure she’d see it. That’s the difference between going out of your way to be spiteful and simply voicing an opinion. It’s funny cause, it’s human nature to focus on the negative. You could hear 100 nice things said about you but that one shitty comment will be the one that sticks in your craw. It’s just how we’re wired.
Now, I’m writing this to somewhat vent but to also point something out to all the trolls out there. This is a two way street. Just as you are allowed to say whatever you want to me, I’m allowed to return the favor. In fact, if you open a negative dialogue directly with me based on something I said that wasn’t personally aimed at you, all bets are off. I can simply defend myself, block you, ban you, or just let you know you’re being an asshole and move on. If those things happen, you should not be surprised cause, after all, I’m a reactionary human being just like you. There’s a common response of the troll where they come back at a retort like “Why do you even care? I’m a nobody!”. Well, that’s exactly why I care. People think just cause they are a faceless twitter handle or a lonely facebook account that they don’t matter. I would argue they do matter. Not cause they’re important (They’re clearly not. None of us really are in the bigger picture). They matter cause we live in a time where EVERY voice is heard. While the troll may think his/her existence is a blip, their voice is echoing just as loud as the person with 1000 followers. By chiming in and coming at someone directly, you are entering the conversation, regardless of your personal status. That said, there is something kinda sad about a person who creates social media accounts just to bust peoples balls. They are worse than people on “catfish”. At least those people are somewhat looking for love.
I’d also like to clarify that this is 100% about strangers talking to strangers. Trolling your friends is another thing entirely. It’s fun and what many friendships are built upon. The reason being, a friend knows you. They know your boundaries. They know you know what they mean. There’s history, inside jokes and perspective. All that doesn’t exist when Johnny nobody fires off an angry response to a tweet his favorite bass player made a month ago about how kale is better than Swiss chard.
I’d like to live on an internet where the ideal of “If you wouldn’t say it to my face, then don’t write it to me on the internet” is the norm. Surely some will read that and be like “Fuck that, I’d say it to your face!” but I don’t even mean that in an aggressive “Come at me, bro!” kinda way. I mean, when you’re speaking to someone face to face and you say something that is unwarranted, pointlessly mean or spiteful and you actually are forced to see them react. You see their brow furl and the air in the room noticeably change to uncomfortable. You can read their emotions. You get that weird feeling of immediate regret cause you spoke harsher than you meant to. Suddenly, you feel empathy. Imagine that? Real human decency. You might even say “My bad, I didn’t mean it like that…” cause you have first hand witnessed how your uselessly negative words effected another person.
OR, Fuck it. Keep just rifling off every shitty thought you have at anyone who will listen. Push buttons on strangers for your own weird enjoyment. Amplify your loneliness in real time for the world to see. Whatever makes you “happy”. But, rest assured, NO ONE who does that kinda thing on a regular basis is truly happy. I don’t know about you but I’ve never been feeling good about myself and decided “I’m gonna pick a fight with a complete stranger over nothing”. Miserable people tend to want to make others feel just as shitty as they do. It’s unfortunate but it’s reality. So, to all you miserable shitheads who opt to pass your time like this, I just wanna say “Sup? everything okay?”. Unfortunately, I think we both know the answer to that.