The Secret to Leaving Comments Online

The Secret to Leaving Comments Online

Comment sections online should be the beautiful
public squares of our democracies: places we navigate to for frank and thoughtful exchanges
of ideas; places where we learn to understand each other’s point of view and where serious
discussions evolve over time. But, of course, they are havens of the grossest abuse, verbal
violence and cruelty. It’s understandable if we sometimes conclude, after time reading
comments, that humanity has lost its way. But there’s another explanation: The source
of dismissive and rude remarks and frustrating discussions isn’t bad people: it’s that
commenting isn’t something we’re naturally or automatically very good at. It is, however,
a learnable skill. In fact, everyone online is almost always trying to do something important,
but just going about it in a hugely unfortunate way. So for example: We want to communicate
an urgent, and sometimes well-founded belief that another person is mistaken So what we
too quickly say is: You are a fucking idiot who can jerk off with my shit. But what we
could learn to say, given that no one ever learns anything under conditions of humiliation,
is a more effective: I wonder if you might have missed something that feels important
from where I am positioned… We want to stand up for clarity and common sense by admitting
that we didn’t understand something another person said And so we say: Wtf motherfucker
But it could be a revolutionary move, with huge influence on the way other people start
to think one could and should behave online, to say: I found it at points a little hard
to follow your train of thought, yet deeply respect your underlying intentions… We want
to convey immense disappointment So we say: I used to like what you do; but now I think
you’re a phoney and a total fraud. Unsubbed, wanker. But we could say: I’m puzzled because
I generally very much admire you and I don’t entirely see the point of what you seem to
be doing. It would be lovely if you could perhaps explain things from your no doubt
very legitimate perspective. Sometimes we simply want to exorcise the humiliation that
a cold and indifferent world has doled out to us So, at our keyboard in the middle of
the night, with the odd freight train whistling in the darkness outside, we say: Suck it up
bitches; bunch of fucking wankers spewing bullshit from your own anuses… When what
we could learn to say, from our isolated bedrooms, is: I sometimes feel so sad and alone… Let’s
remember that no one is ever brutal or cruel online by their ultimate free choice. They
are so because they are hurt, damaged, alone and afraid – and because no one has been
kind or good to them for a long time. Behind every online outburst, there’s always a
complex, painful backstory (which we will mostly never know but which we can be sure
is there) which has made it impossible for the commenter to feel they can be realistic,
reasonable or civil. People get rude too, because – in their very isolation and powerlessness
– it is impossible for them to believe that others out there could be vulnerable to their
insults. Their rudeness is grounded on a disbelief that strangers could take them seriously and
might be tipped over into inner collapse, despair and self-hatred because of them. Such
is their background feeling of impotence, the troll has forgotten their own power. After
spending a while in the comments sections, it can be easy to to form the belief that
humans have grown into monsters. The good news is that even though comments claim to
reflect how the world is, they in fact represent only the fringe views of a tiny percentage.
They induct us to forget the vast invisible army of moderate, reasonable, kind not terribly
opinionated individuals who are just standing by in silence, as appalled as we are. The
world is much saner than it appears. The real achievement would be to build an online world
every bit as kind, patient and good as most of us are in our real lives at every moment
of every day. Do you need a detox from your devices? Our Phone Detox is designed to help give you a well deserved break from your phone.

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “The Secret to Leaving Comments Online

  1. Have you had experience with comments like the ones in this video? Or have you commented like this yourself in the past? If so let us know your motivations and your coping mechanisms in the comments below and help others that may be facing the same situation. If you like our videos you can join our community, visit our shop, download our app and join our weekly newsletter here:

  2. I never read the comments left on my youtube videos as I simply cant handle the baseness of many people – and they dont have to involve swearing either…..It could be complaining that I dont address a certain topic, when it has been obviously covered 40 seconds into the video; or a statement that they are offended by the nuclear bomb explosion image I used in the thumbnail for the video, or similar imbecilic statements. My observation has been that most of these comments stem from an inner envy (though I cant possibly see why!) and therefore a desire to tear down others rather than celebrate knowledge and build others up. I grew up appreciating the old adage "If you cant say something (constructive) dont say anything at all"

  3. My problem is that I get too excited about something and post positive comments almost unthinkably. That sometimes gets me in trouble because I come off as a creep. When really in real life, if people would see me as a person giving them compliments, they would see that I mean what I say. I have no intentions, just simply to give someone a compliment on their successes in life. Like a cheerleader.

  4. Your advice is … Write like a beta? People have different standards. If someone calls me a mutherfucker I laugh. So when I call you a mutherfucker fucker you should laugh too. Don't be a snowflake, be like me. I don't care about convincing anyone. Just want to express. If you don't want my patronage don't advertise to me. Don't get me to watch your vid. Don't ASK me to comment. Can't have your cake and eat it.

  5. I am a firm believer that humanity started a steep decline when the first Comments section was enabled. The irony that I'm saying this in a Comments section is not lost on me.

  6. No comments allowed on videos that are pure propaganda.
    Why are some countries rich or poor?
    Money is an illusion to make misery seem pallatable. Zimbabwe is the most beautiful country in the world.
    Capitalism = cancer.

  7. Its pretty obvious really – we are evolved as tribal animals. The internet provides anonymity that enables us to do things we couldn't get away with in our normal evolved context. Same reason why drivers in a small town are generally not as rude as in a big city. I think we should be required to use our real names and pictures on the internet – that would curb the incivility a bit, or at least enable us to id the a-holes

  8. Your channels videos never cease to inspire me. Also I’m glad you guys can bring great humor to very complex subjects. I love that i get to laugh while learning 🙏❤️

  9. A lot of comments are from people transferring their bad day/week/life to you because they don't know what else to do. Sometimes there's a chance to acknowledge it and they calm down. Sometimes there isn't and you say have a nice day and move on and starve them of any feedback. It's beyond your pay grade at that point. Doesn't make it any less disappointing but eh.

  10. If everyone sounded as polite as Mr School of Life when swearing, people would hardly feel offended. 🙂 Great job with the vieos as usual, guys! Very important topic, empathy should also be present in all our comments. Thanks for sharing

  11. I think since we've all been to school and possess a dictionary, I think it's important to use proper spelling and punctuation.

  12. “No one is brutal of their own choice “ amazing bro! People are by nature deeply evil Or we would not have 17 nuclear warheads left in our arsenanals. Don’t teach that to anyone ! The school of life will have a future student body of naive victims !

  13. Reading the "Comments" section following a video can be interesting and/or funny. Sometimes I read it before I watch the video to get an idea of what I'm in for. Sometimes comments have directed me to other videos, people, topics or music that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. This video reminds me of what we all know; folks that make those negative comments are just sad and should be forgiven and/or ignored.

  14. HYPOCRISY! They just banned me from the The School Of Life app with no explanation whatsoever, for what I can only assume was expressing a view that wasn't far-Left. I was respectful, I was kind, I was logical, I didn't swear, I wasn't unkind. I didn't get a "strike", I didn't get an email at all. I hate these hypocritical liars pretending to respect discourse and then treating people like garbage when anyone doesn't align with then politically.

  15. HYPOCRISY! They just banned me from the The School Of Life app with no explanation whatsoever, for what I can only assume was expressing a view that wasn't far-Left. I was respectful, I was kind, I was logical, I didn't swear, I wasn't unkind. I didn't get a "strike", I didn't get an email at all. I hate these hypocritical liars pretending to respect discourse and then treating people like garbage when anyone doesn't align with then politically.

  16. One in five Americans insists the sun revolves around the earth, and for over twenty years Americans have been voting for whoever advertises the most in both local and national elections, with Libertarians in Maryland forcing their own Libertarian politicians to pass a law making it illegal to vote for Mickey Mouse. Forty years of surveys concluded the republican party organizes along the same lines as a flock of chickens, explaining all the online trolls as merely the cultural bias of most civilized people towards pecking each other and attempting to see which rooster can crow the loudest.

  17. This actually made me look at trolls in a different way. I am trying to understand why people go out of their way to hurt other people in comment sections. I have found that age doesn't matter. I thought it was just children at first but its not. I thought about it being jealousy or something like that. I actually came across this video because I am researching this topic. I was trying to find a good video on it and this is the best one so far.

  18. I think trolls don't deserve as much compassion, not only because they're strangers who don't care about us, also that none of us really have time to take care of each lonely, damaged trolls to become 'well' again. The public members aren't their personal therapists. What these trolls should do instead is fix their own problems and not get someone else hurt with their attitude. It's like talking about girls with PMS – yeah, I understand people should be nice to them but these girls do have a BIGGER responsibility of not being a rude person and have their emotions in check.

  19. I must admit i haven’t seen these so called ‘comment section hell’
    and im on the internet for a few hours a day

  20. The internet exist for people to talk shit, don't take anything seriously. The guy trolling you is probably a 40 yo virgin fatso, pity him and get on with your lives.

  21. no ones sober. be yourself when commenting most people understand even if you say cunt in an inoffensive way. is @The School Of Life an anachronism for knowing fuck all to sell shit from a shop

  22. These "could say" comments sound like me taking the piss. Just imagine you're talking to a friend. Don't write something you wouldn't text to a mate

  23. I disagree of behaving online like we usually do in real life, online is where most of us can express ourselves without the filters of what society thinks of us, and if we do well then you are taking the internet way too seriously, and even sometimes when you try to be nice there’s a certain kind of idiots that Hager offended by it, example I use to be in and online art group, and I was active and happy of be part of it, always trying to be nice and sometimes trying to be nice and honest with my criticism of other art, one time I was an asshole and insulted the horrible artwork of a random just because it was clearly so terrible a 5 yo could of made it better and I’m being honest but what made me particularly mad is the person thought it was great and the best they could do, now is not like I’m just going to comment “it looks like shit” no I said how i thought it was bad, how the could improve and tell them to practice, that’s my number one advice to artist, practice cause that’s the only way you get better at anything even when me myself am not good at art but I know a few things that I can’t master yet, what ever this bitch (she was a huge bitch) upload a tutorial on taking photos of your art, and it wasn’t nice it looked amature and low quality, I kindly told her that it was a nice post but she could improve her photos if she followed some basic tips and tricks of photography like light, and even a little editing, and even recommended apps, I wasn’t rude or anything but she got offended cause “my criticism was not wanted” and “you should never give unwanted advice” also I did took their example photo the original vs the mildly poorly edited, and I edited better where you could see better the most details and colors, and the lady told me I was and asshole for doing that, so that to me proves that even when you are nice you can offend somebody, and that people is way too sensitive now a days and their lack of accepting criticism good or bad is going to kill their art career.

  24. Yes, im a very sensitive person, feeling impotent at how my kind have been use as an excuse for sissy little pansies crying over every ripple in the watter. Their is a hugge difference between being sensitive and just acting like a silly little bitch! Do you know how hard it is to go through life being a very sensitive person, and having wankers offer you safe spaces from bull shit? Like rude online comments from people you'll never meet, and have no influence on your life! That fuck is wrong with you people!

  25. I am personally florbng clam paste for the grand opening of the jamboree and I hope the vagi morphing glue sticks green better car smell in the future. Love the xylophone peanut butter . Though a blue berry blast off is richously imminent. Group shellacked .

  26. Whew…To the writers of this narrative…you must have had a fine laugh together. Cherish the memories and raise a glass.

  27. I don't know, but sometimes, more specifically when the conversation grows into a frustrating argument, I just want to use some swearing words to describe my feelings. But then I look at my profile, look at my smiley face, and think "If you were the other person, how would you expect yourself to behave, based on only what you see". And it always feels like a slap right in the face reminding you about your real life character. I think, it's all about taking the responsibility and controlling your inner demons. So yeah, thanks for the attention and sorry if it seemed cringey,😆.

  28. I have used the strategy of being more polite to correct someone, and it has worked effectively without conveying any amount of disrespect.

    I think, though, it's fun to troll from time to time. I live a life where it is fundamental that I be polite and work well with others, so to come online and troll a bit (never in a demeaning way, just being 100% honest and direct to another person without a fear of real consequence) is nice.

  29. You're a fucking idiot who can jerk off with my shit…I had to pause the video to laugh so hard😂😂😂😂😂😂

  30. Ode To a Troll;

    You're trying to troll
    But you're just being droll
    So I guess someone should try to remind you
    To slow down your roll
    And crawl back in your hole.
    You can use a finger to find it behind you.

    You try to be clever,
    But it's taking forever,
    So I think I'll go on with my life.
    You might want to try thinking…
    (Afraid that ship's sinking)
    You couldn't cut your brain-fog with a knife.

    Chucky B. Rantin
    aka; Me

  31. I love this video because it's so true. I refer to comments on Facebook posts being akin to brain farts in an echo chamber.

  32. Hello. I think the point is having a good range of words to use. This implies that some people should read more to be able to communicate their thoughts effectively in written comments and without insulting.
    Thank you for your precious videos @The School of Life

  33. I love the subtle implication that comments like, "You are a fucking idiot who can jerk off with my shit," are simply the product of miscommunication or a lack of well-practiced, online conversational skills.

  34. Just came here to comment on one of your videos where comments have been disabled. « Why some countries are rich/poor » is a collection of the worst clichés about economy and culture, it lacked relevant knowledge, nuances. How could anyone praise the institutions of a country that elected Bush Jr or Trump? The iconography was just plain racist. It recked of white supremacy. That you stand by that video made me reconsider other videos of your channel. If you know nothing of this subject, creating correlations where there may not be ones, what do you actually know about life after all? Stick to individual psychology and stay away from geopolitics and economy. This video is a shame but since it’s one of your most viewed one, you probably never take it down, nor question its content. The least you could is let people comment contradicting data and prove you wrong!

    A former loyal viewer

  35. This is my comment to this video: 😂😂😂😂😂😂 . ( this means I found the video funny, not laughing at the video's ideas, 😉).

  36. The core problem with commenting online and the petty back and forth that people are want to have is very simple. It is a lack of formality that we have when we are staring people face-to-face. The social ambiguities are lost and the context goes out the window. That is the root of all especially if it is a particularly controversial topic.

  37. Only people who seem intent on being rude are the bigots… how am I supposed to approach the person who says stuff like “sorry but gays deserve death” like yeah I’m sure you’re real sorry about saying that. Fact is I don’t have time to patiently explain why they’re wrong and hold their hand through unlearning their biases. So yeah, that’s when I say “fuck it” and just thumbs down their comment and don’t respond, or get in a fight…..

  38. Because online is not real. Twitter is not real.
    Rhe comments section is not real. People are real.
    War is a jews harvest is only a half truth. But its not real.

  39. You know some people in the comments speak the truth…..people don't like the truth, needs to be more realistic people out there

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