So you’re online and you’re doing your best to keep to yourself or make friends. Typically this means you’re either reserved or polite, which is normal. You’d expect people would get popular by bending but not breaking the rules – they might ask questions that resonate with others but still be polite, to take one example.
What you didn’t expect is that the Internet is one giant suck-pit of stupidity where every personality that could be defined as “pathological” or “repulsive” gets a massive audience instantly. Here’s a few of the many types of idiots that have been irritating me nowadays:
1. Every day is whine day: yes, I know – this post. That argument doesn’t stick; you can read the rest of this blog and see why. All of you know that there are people online who use numerous media streams to complain. Sometimes these aren’t just people who are pissed at coworkers or family or friends. We’re talking about influential and powerful people who supposedly have lives and success who will do nothing but complain – their audience eats it up. I blame the audience. There are people who purposely don’t want to hear anything positive. They want to hear the world sucks.
2. The massive egotist: So there’s this moron who has written what he thinks is a credible expansion of a certain philosopher’s work and proclaims himself a herald of the future because he plays extensive amounts of video games. I am not kidding you. I wish I were. You don’t even want to know how many people are formally allied with his project, let alone the many who are paying for his work. What stuns me is the number of people willing to indulge someone’s brazen insanity, thinking it real courage. We do live in decadent times.
3. Pictures of me, me, me: I don’t mind this once in a while. It is important to project a personality when creating content. But if you’re going to try putting up pictures over and over in the hope one of them will go viral, that’s behavior which the community should shun. We don’t shun it enough – there are rewards for this sort of narcissism. Eventually you do go viral for the exact wrong reason.
4. There’s having a niche, then there’s repeating yourself: This might be my biggest problem with the Web. There’s so much content and most of us take in only a tiniest of a tiny fraction of it. Mark Bauerlein’s point about how the news is all around us yet we still can’t name the Vice-President is exactly what I’m ranting about. I’m obviously trying to expand my vision and see and write about more. I can’t begin to tell you how depressing it is when people get known for something that is literally the same thing, over and over.
There’s more than this, of course – I’m aiming at a few personalities I think are correctable. For example, I think a lot of people complaining or posting pics of themselves don’t realize there are other ways to interact with their audience. They just see it done so much it feels like there’s nothing else online. Right now, that’s exactly the problem.
And yes, I am jealous of those who have bigger audiences than me. I know what I could do with more readers, and I know it’d be special.