As I watch the mass amounts of YouTube videos that I do, and consume the numerous articles that I read, I am always a culprit of scrolling down and seeing what is happening in the comments. I don’t think I have ever participated in this section of the page, but I have always been interested in how the piece of work I am seeing is received.
This post is meant to delve into why I am intrigued by this frenzy of opinions, arguments, and trolling that is a defining aspect of the internet. At first glance, I believe, that the comments section really personifies why the internet is such a wonderful and terrible thing, depending how you look at it, and that is because as the often over-announced point that everyone is given a voice on the internet, which can be argued as positive, negative, or a little of both.
At the most basic level I really enjoy the drama that comes out of the comments section, by going into anything on the internet, especially something about politics, I can see the soap opera of people in agreement or disagreement, the trollers, the jokesters, the philosophers, and the ignorant ones all in one little part of an endless amount of data that is on the internet. It’s as if the comments section of a popular video is a microcosm of our world, where people agree, people disagree, people joke, people are crazy, people just don’t care, people theorize, people under-analyze, people overanalyze, you get the idea.
At another more basic level, I enjoy just seeing what the overall impression of the thing I’m consuming is, as I said in the beginning of this article. Do people like this? Do people hate it? Does is strike a chord with one person? Many people? It’s these questions that usually get answered in the comments. Given, that any sort of commentary has to be taken with a grain of salt because everyone has some sort of bias coming in, even I do, but when many people congregate around the same idea or single comment, it’s easy to see that that is what people think about this video. Which I believe to be very useful because a somewhat concrete answer as to what this video or article or song means to people. Giving you or I platform to begin forming an opinion about it as well.
Now, I do realize that there are many arguments to this; the fact that not everyone watches the video your watching or reading the article your reading, and if your reading a blog with a certain kind of people you may not get a whole spectrum of ideas to counterbalance one another. It could also be argued by seeing other people believe in an absurd idea that you could be persuaded to also believe in that idea. Other arguments I know exist, but I cannot think of all the arguments under the sun at the moment.
Any of these arguments I would deem irrelevant, because I don’t think it matters that not everyone will watch or comment on the thing you are observing. I don’t think it matters that you may not be getting a full spectrum of ideas or that you could be persuaded into something that is “wrong.” I claim this because I believe the reason I love reading comments on the internet is because of the deeper meaning of it. That it can be another place that ideas can be shared, creativity can be shown, and that we are all connected in some way because whether we agree that the song Friday sucks or not, the idea that everyone, at least if you have access to the internet, can be able to say what they think about something, how ridiculous or not, is a wonderful thing. So, I suppose I agree with the positive aspect of the democratization of the internet, that everyone should have a voice, because the comment sections across the web show how sacred the internet is, where it is maybe the only place on Earth where it is, for the most part, an even playing field.