Okay. So I’m in my very early thirties and more or less grew up with the Internet, social media, YouTube, Facebook (and to a far lesser degree, Myspace) and, as the children call it, electronic mail. Strictly speaking, I’m not exactly an old man.
But the comments section is starting to confuse me.
I understand why people wouldn’t even bother scrolling down these days. (“I just watched this insightful video. Now what does the Internet’s asshole think about it?”) There’s quite a bit there not to like, and it can be off-putting to some. (“That was a really cute baby video. Let’s see how many comments it takes before I see a racial slur.”) In short, I started this paragraph defending why I even look, and I’ve already forgotten.
The best I can say is that you’ll occasionally find a diamond in the rough, as it were. While 99.9% of what you read is the waste material that’s accumulated from the worst parts of human nature, sometimes you’ll see, you know, a funny joke or something.
The only trouble is, outside all the racism, offensive hate speech and other, more horrifying kinds of racism, it’s starting to get weird down here.
Here are few of the weirdest examples:
Why are people posting comments as celebrities? Every now and then I’ll watch a video and find Joss Whedon posting about how much he loves a particular Nightcore song. And that’s all well and good. Joss Whedon is free to enjoy any sort of music he likes. Only, it isn’t him. (I refuse to believe the real Joss Whedon has only two subscribers and a channel consisting of techno music played over anime fight scenes.)
Some random guy is just using that name and picture. Sometimes they’ll say something like, “This is a great song! Almost as good as Firefly! Lol!” Other times, it’s more along the lines of, “I’m Joss Whedon, and I approve.”
Is this some new, lame form of live action role-laying, or what? I don’t get it. And Joss Whedon wouldn’t explain it to me.
Why are people posting comments as random characters? It’s sort of the same as the last one. Only, someone is just posting as Naruto. No explanation as to what he’s doing there. No backstory. It’s just Naruto…commenting on a video about Boko Haram.
The weirdest part is that these people randomly show up to respond to comments about their show or character. How do they find these? Is there a hidden comment search function I don’t know about? Or is someone really just reading the comments on every single video ever made looking for mentions. You know, between educating himself on militant groups in Nigeria and stuff.
Okay. And here’s just a comment from the show “Knight Rider.” Seriously? The show is commenting? Sigh. You know what? Let’s just move on…
(Note: I stopped it here, but I honestly found someone commenting as the memory expansion pack from the Nintendo 64 shortly thereafter.)
If your only contribution is a picture or GIF, could you not? I realize that not everyone has anything insightful to add to a conversation. That’s okay. What’s not okay is saying nothing at all but putting in a random meme that’s only vaguely related.
“I don’t think the Hunger Games was a good adaptation. They should reboot it.”
“Ugh. Enough with these three-year gaps between reboots. There are too many as it is.”
And then some genius comes in with:
The only thing worse is the person that does the same, except every captioned picture is an attempt to sway the conversation to politics. I get that you think you’re being insightful when you post a picture that says, “Vote Hillary – And You’ll be Seeing the Hunger Games up Close in Two Years.” But you have to understand that this sort of behavior in the real world is literally the reason our species developed throat punching in the first place.
If anyone could explain this to me, I’d appreciate it. Then again, it would require using the comments section. And then people might start getting clever.
For now, I’ll just keep private messaging Joss Whedon.