In the olden days, before the Internet took over our lives, we turned to tabloids for our daily dose of cheap drama. Don’t deny it – you at the very least looked at the titles at your local newsagent’s. If only to shake your head, throw your arms in the air and utter an exasperated “Who on earth reads this junk?!”
Well, congratulations, because you do.
No, wait. You don’t. Right?
You can tell me that you never touched The Sun or News of the World (may it rest in peace), and I might even believe you. Because I haven’t either.
But you know what I bet 95% of you have done in the last 48h, if not more recently? Read some comments sections.
Oh, right, you’ll tell me. But that’s not the same. That’s to know what common people think.
Do you really care what Polly from Portsmouth thinks about Brexit? Or what Ben from Buckinghamshire has to say about Beyonce’s bum? Do you really?
Because, you know what, I don’t think you do. You don’t know Ben and you don’t know Polly. For all you know, they can be complete morons, or Internet trolls looking to cause some unrest.
So why do you spend so much of your life reading what came out from under their anonymous fingers?
You’re just looking for some cheap drama. Something that’s current, so you can tell your friends “Do you know what people are saying about Brexit? Are they serious?”.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We all do it. We might not admit it because, at heart, we know we’re doing something that isn’t quite right. Wasting our time in a really stupid way. Because pouring hatred and negativity into our own heads will never be a good pastime, let’s face it. You know you’d be much better off spending that time on Netflix. Or reading a good book. Won’t teach you much more, but at least you’ll be a much happier bunny.
People on the Internet rarely have something valuable to say. And the ones that do you won’t find on the Guardian’s Facebook page, or under a YouTube video. Yeah, sometimes there will be a single person who actually brings some value to the table. Other than that, you’ll probably just find people reacting to the headline. Come on, don’t tell me most people actually read the whole thing! Don’t be ridiculous, that’s way too much effort…
I’d say there are three types of commentators
- The rare type – ones that actually have something to say, but will quickly disappear once they realise what a pile of garbage they got themselves into.
- The usual type – they will say something that anyone else could have said, without an original thought in sight. Or they will tag their friend, maybe adding a very eloquent “lol, look at this”. They might as well not exist.
- The worst type – the ones that are actively trying to create the pile of garbage others will later stumble upon. They’re, quite simply, internet trolls. Or people with some really strong right/left wing views who can’t express them in a civilised manner. Because they usually can’t. Which is quite sad. But also funny.
I genuinely hope you guys are type 1. I have a lot of faith in my readers. But we all know that types 2 and 3 prevail.
Crappy comments are like crappy books. They will only make you wonder who the hell pressed ‘enter’ on that, and what on earth you’re doing reading it. But a bad book will at most leave a bad taste in your mouth. Spending time on angry, vile comments that attack people – that’s just poisonous.
If you still want to tell me you’re reading them to know what people are saying, please don’t. Or explain to me how it differs from reading a tabloid, which is feeding off other people’s misery and made up stories.
Come on, how does it differ?
As I said. It’s cheap ass drama.
Don’t think that I’m some saint who never wastes her time this way. I do. I regularly do. Probably every day. And it sucks and I annoy myself.
And I’m making a pledge here to make an effort to stop. And I think you should join me.
Please, stop this drama.