I made myself a promise a while ago that I wouldn’t indulge in the pathetic, whiny negativity exhibited by so many on YouTube by making any videos attacking specific people. Sure, I take a stand against what I see as negative behaviour (racism, general hater-ism) but I don’t single out individual people and say “you suck”. Which is a hard discipline to maintain because a lot of people on YouTube really, really suck and desperately need to be told to shut the fuck up.
One of the easiest ways to raise your profile on YouTube is to make a video responding to someone who is already popular. You can choose to take a positive angle – either giving them a “shout out” or make a video that in some way responds to a video they’ve already made (I’ve done the latter quite a few times). Alternatively, you could make a video attacking someone who’s more popular than you.
The attack response is a guaranteed attention getter no matter who you go for. If you go after someone that has already had a significant number of people turn on them then you get all of these angry people joining in with you. If you go after someone who’s more universally admired then you get attention because all of their dedicated fans will take the bait lash out at you.
Have you ever heard the idea that people who grow up getting no attention at all indulge in negative, destructive behaviour simply to draw attention to themselves? Negative attention becomes more desirable than no attention at all. Well, YouTube has rapidly become the world’s largest test lab for examining the worst excesses of human behaviour.
There are a disturbing number of people who display what I can only describe as psychotic behaviour. They indulge in extremely venomous attacks on people they essentially know nothing about, attacks that frequently escalate into threats of violence. These people display a complete inability to consider repercussions and think of the future. What seems fun in your 20s can seriously limit your options in the future. This is the internet people, once you put something out there, it’s out there forever. You’ve lost control of it and you can’t erase it when you want to.
It would kinda suck to blow a big job interview because your potential employer did a background check and found out how often you’d acted like an utter fuckwit on YouTube. Not to mention how it could affect legal proceedings if someone was trying to prove you were unbalanced and untrustworthy. Think of your worst case scenario and it will almost inevitably happen.
The general negativity pisses me off but I’ve seen a permutation developing recently that makes me really want to smack the perpetrators in the face with a fucking shovel. People are now making videos where they criticise other people for making attacks on people they like. Which sounds fine except every other video these people make is an attack on someone else that they don’t like. So they want the best of both worlds: they should be free to vilify whoever they want but nobody should dare criticise them or any of their “friends”.
To put it in biblical terms: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
To put it in Mr Angry terms: “Shut the fuck up you hypocritical sack of shit! Either retract every negative thing you’ve said about everyone else and promise not to do it again or just shut the fuck up!”
There are huge number of people on YouTube doing and saying things that I think are stupid and fucked up. I could make hundreds of videos pointing out what is wrong with what they are doing. But what’s the fucking point? People are fucked – big surprise. People need to get over themselves and get on to doing something that’s productive.
There will always be people doing things you don’t agree with. There will always be people who attack you. There will always be people you simply fucking hate, often with very good reason. But this downward spiral of negativity drags everyone down until they’re all covered in shit. Somebody has to take the step of saying “I’m not going to be part of this, no matter what other people do.” I’m no Mahatma Gandhi but even I can see a dead end when it’s staring me in the face.