The internet is what you make of it

There are countless trolls online these days; they come with the territory, very much like how a medieval story’s antagonist would be the dragon.  But aren’t all stories like that actually about heroics and love as a way to slay the dragon?  Or why even bother with it? The knight should just carry off the princess on his horse to live happily ever after, and the dragon can angrily breathe fire all it wants until it exhausts its energy or burns itself to death.

If you really think about it, people are so upset about the trolls online and all the negative haters who leave vicious comments as a way to let off steam after a long day or as a way to go, “Notice me! Notice me!”  People scoff at the internet culture, hating right back at the haters, even bothering to *gasp* respond!  The people who leave the malicious comments are fueled by this inner, personal rage and hate that usually has nothing to do with the actual content to which they’re responding – but in turn, the people who respond to that are fueled by the same inner, personal rage and hate instigated by the original poster of rage and hate – so you see, really, this is all just a vicious, pointless, and endless cycle with doses of self-righteousness (they just really want to teach someone else a lesson!). Because who really cares what those people think? They’re clearly looking to get into a fight with no actual interest in the argument at hand.

The internet culture has such a negative image, but if you really think about it, people are just too busy noticing all the negative people to really pay tribute to the positive comments also left there, just buried under the venom.  In some ways, it is like people take that kindness for granted – that’s how everybody should act, after all!  But obviously, seeing the trolls and haters out there, that isn’t how everybody acts.  The kindness is another victim in the bloody battle between bad vs. worse when, instead of engaging in pointless fights, that kindness should be more appreciated.  People, for example YouTubers, pick out the support and the kindness and are inspired to continue making new videos, ignoring the negativity, just shrugging it off.  Some people, however, see only the negative and crumble at its feet.  It’s all about which glasses you choose to wear.

People fight so hard against the negativity when they could be flourishing all the positivity instead for the very same effect.  The same end game.  The same results.  Of course this is a rather idealistic way of looking at a solution to the “problem” of the internet, but isn’t that better than what’s actually happening today?  Admit it: people are more fueled by anger and hatred than inspired to love and encourage.  People are more likely to leave comments when they have this need to criticize something (“It’s for their own good, I swear!”) but less likely to point out what’s good and to compliment them (“Ah, they probably know already!”). But what I really love about the internet is how people can converse and communicate, how it ties in people from different backgrounds, situations, ages, and more to discuss one single, shared interest.  It’s easy to get irritated at ignorant commenters.  I always roll my eyes at obvious trolls, too, but it’s also easier than you might think to ignore them.  Once you ignore them, you’ll be able to smile when you come upon a thought that had been in your very own mind but had been written out by different hands.

When you discover a culture, you can find a family, not just strangers bonding over the same vlogger on YouTube. There will be disagreements and miscommunication, but you find joy in the same thing.  Of course, there is always “too much,” when comments go from genuine compliments to overenthusiastic adulation, which can also be irritating, but there’s always a complex story behind each comment. You just have to pretend to understand, at least, and move on, because the great thing about the internet, also, is that you can disconnect at any time.


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