Image via: Diesel Sweeties
Last week I wrote a couple of reviews about new music. They’re here and here if you want to read them, laugh with them, share them with friends and perhaps introduce them to your sister, if she’s not seeing anybody. But that’s not the point.
If you ask me (and nobody did, mind you) internet comment sections are kind of a waste of time; a throwback to another era. It’s one thing to comment on a story on a Facebook feed or Twitter feed: those are the tools that we have now. Comment sections were once the boon of the internet glory days. You could find out how popular a post or story was by how many comments you had. Post social media, however, comment sections on websites are a strange concept. The author of the review (or news article, or what have you) writes something. Then any number of people can post whatever they want underneath it. Those opinions are shared side by side. Behind the democratic idea of everyone having an equal voice, the comment section still remains—and is usually just an excuse for people to post their thoughts.
Why do I bring this up? Because some people took personal offense to my reviews. It happens.
I’m not particularly incensed by the comments: after years of freelancing I’m used to having my work torn apart, I understand it’s part of the game. But what I think people are missing is that reacting to an opinion isn’t necessarily part of their game.
Some of this comes down to the fact that I genuinely believe some people can’t handle the internet because they can’t handle opinions that differ from theirs. Look at any comment section on a YouTube video or a Yahoo news article (especially about Obama) and you’ll see some hateful, weird, vitriolic shit from people that get the same face time as the person who wrote the article. Those people took time out of their day to write down the hate speech and post it. Why? Because someone said something they didn’t like, or didn’t agree with.
That doesn’t allow us to grow up.
The thing is, someone out there is always going to disagree with you. On the internet, you are never more than thirty seconds away from finding something so diametrically opposed to who you are or what you base yourself on as a person. Therefore, when I say it’s pretty easy to go out of your way to fight a crusade on some comment section somewhere, it really is quite actually pretty easy to do—just click on the headlines that make you feel the angriest, scroll down, and fight away.
When it comes to music, too, you’re always going to find someone who disagrees with you. Since music began there has always been someone asking to turn it down or off. Assuredly, when the first cavemen were banging sticks together to create some sort of rhythm, there must have been one caveman in the corner wondering when someone was going to invent the guitar already.
That’s part of life. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Especially with music. Even more so with politics. That person may be able to tell you things, or, or!, you can choose to ignore that person.
Writing/blogging for a living has taught me a lot of things: that you can order food online and not shower for several days, and that people are going to get pissed off no matter what you say, because people now will search out things that disagree with them.
By no means are the reviews that I write gospel. I just don’t like shitty music. Here’s the thing, though—there is always going to be someone who thinks that your favorite band sucks. Always. I promise you. From the day they formed until the day they break up.
Next time, don’t take it so personally. It’s their job to create the (shitty) music you love (because you have no taste) and it’s my job to write a review of it (because I am an asshole and it’s my job to review these things). If you loved your favorite band that much, you wouldn’t give a shit and feel the need to rush to their defense. You’d move on and say “I don’t care. I guess that guy was wrong.”
Perhaps, having said that, I should take my own advice and not give a shit what commenters say. But it’s a little hard to do that when you’re getting threats in your Twitter feed for the sole reason that you don’t like the latest Muse single.