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Sometimes, it’s good to take a moment to step back, reflect on your surroundings, and take inventory of the world at large. Then when you’ve done that, scroll down a bit and read what people are talking about below your surroundings and the world at large and watch the absolute chaos that unfolds within the comment section. Under normal circumstances, I would discourage you from even venturing into such….let’s say tumultuous….areas of the internet, but there’s a lot to be seen in these. In particular, you can take note of just how unique some of the perspectives that persist in our society. For instance, did you know that a lot of people are actually super racist? ‘Cause they are.

Most of the time, there’s a decent ratio of reasonable commentary to random nonsense, but that ratio is tested every time something even remotely controversial is discussed in a forum, an article, a video, or just about anything. When something deals with an area of thought that’s intentionally on the edge, like political discussion or trans rights, suddenly people in the comments get very, very angry. Why? How come? Not really a good thing, and again, terribly unhealthy to obsess over, but it’s not the sort of thing that’s good to ignore, either.

We all have a tendency to limit ourselves in terms of what we consume. When we read the news, it’s frequently cherrypicked, dictated by what our phones have determined we’re more likely to read from our search data and viewing history. The echo chambers in which we hide ourselves become a part of our digital portfolio that remains hidden from us, and it’s easy to assume you’re in the majority simply because you constantly see people agreeing with you. For this reason (and to some extent, for entertainment), I really do encourage you to zoom out a little bit and take a look at all the insane things that people legitimately believe, and take them seriously.

Don’t sweep it under the rug.

Don’t dismiss it.

Read, and observe, and take note of the reasoning behind it, and then dismiss the awful, stupid, insensitive things people say. The more that we expose ourselves to the sort of humans who would actively disparage others for the purpose of internet clout, the less likely we are to be surprised when we run into them in real life. The less surprised we are, the better we can deal with the aftereffects of interacting with them when required to, and often we don’t get a choice. Without naming names, there have been numerous occasions where I’ve been talking to a fellow student, discord server member, or just another grocery shopper only to discover that they are racist, homophobic, or sexist, etc. and I’ve not really known how to deal with it. Or at least I didn’t until recently.

Being less taken aback by the worst in humanity isn’t exactly an inherently positive thing, but having the knowledge under your belt to notice the thought patterns, key notes and recurring themes between the sorts of folk who would in real life be people you would prefer not to interact with at all can’t be an entirely negative thing. Beyond that, though, you have to eventually accept that some people just suck. And while not ideal, it’ll be okay. Don’t ignore them, just be sure to read through the comment section every once in a while. There’s sure to be some chaos somewhere that deserves your attention, albeit very little of your respect.

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