No, seriously, they really do. people are mean, cruel, unthinking f*ckwits of the Nth degree. They are a blight upon this fair world, and we as a species would be better off without most of them.
All hail the Edgelord, Sh*tposter Supreme of the Internet!
Look, I get it. It’s very easy to post controversial things through the anonymity the Internet mostly provides, and get instant fame (after a fashion), or at least a bunch of like-minded people retweeting your statements. That can be rather intoxicating, and lead to further sh*tposting, and so on, and so on, etc.
The problem is, when people do this, they start to believe their own hype. Or, worse yet, when they get enthralled by the shtposting community, their own personality becomes twisted before they even start shtposting themselves.
This leads to some very dark places, such as White Nationalism, Sovereign Citizen nonsense, rampant Misogyny, and voting for Republicans.
That may seem like a joke, but I’m not kidding. Edgelord culture leads exactly to those ends, and none of those results are positive in any way!
The White Pride movement, for example, was an early adopter of the Edgelord persona online. They made very effective use of sh*tposting online to speak their horribly racist nonsense, then could back away from their comments, stating they were “just joking”, and accusing those they offended as being “too sensitive”, and so forth. While the hardcore racists wouldn’t back down, many like Rush Limbaugh and others of the Right-Wing Media would use this tactic to great effect.
You see this also with a large crop of YouTubers nowadays, actually. Guys like “The Quartering” and others who embrace the anti-Feminist movement involved in GamerGate, and attacks upon the most recent Star Wars films, for example. They make blatantly anti-Feminist comments, then back away under the guise of “just wanting proper Games Journalism”, or “being real Star Wars fans”.
They sh*tpost, then back away, only to re-engage again, affirming their true beliefs while still refusing to embrace them.
As much as Nazis suck, and absolutely deserved to be punched at any opportunity, they at least stick by their twisted convictions, and don’t run away like little b*tches. Well, mostly, anyway.
Now then, I will admit that back in my early years on YouTube, blogging, and podcasting, I had an Edgelord persona as well. I was “The MMO Troll”, and used this persona to make fun of games and game developers for their sometimes anti-consumer tactics and policies, in a sarcastic manner.
The difference here is that I made it abundantly clear that this was indeed just a Persona, and that I was using it not to sh*tpost per se’, but to point out the failings of said companies and their products. It was an Edgelord used for good, not to destroy others. When that persona was no longer useful, I abandoned it, and walked away from such activities, although I am still quite critical of many gaming companies.
But that’s the difference here. I was edgy for a purpose, in a sarcastic manner, to hopefully effect real change or to educate the gaming community. I didn’t do it to cover for any hatefulness, misogyny, racism, or other general personality flaws, unlike the current crop of Edgelords you find on the Internet now.
So, to sum up here, sh*tposting is bad for you. It twists you into a hateful little troll of a person, and is something you should avoid at all costs. It is entirely possible to be critical without being an Edgelord Douchecanoe™, if you must be critical of others on the Internet.
For example, if you must be critical on the gaming front, be Jim Sterling, as opposed to Sid Alpha. Both men are effective critics on the internet, but one delves into Edgelord territory from time to time (Sid Alpha), where Sterling absolutely does not.
It’s really just that simple.
Now, all that said, if you must watch these Edgelords on the Internet, know this: The vast majority of them are faking it. They don’t really believe the controversial things they are saying, it’s just a persona (much like The MMO Troll was), in order to get attention. That’s it. Controversy sells, friends, and that’s what the Edgelord really wants: A Platform from which to spew their rhetoric. This leads to more attention on their YouTube channel, or website, or whatever, and that leads to more ad revenue for them.
It all comes down to money, in the end.
So if you go in, with the mindset that these people are simple being edgy to get more attention, then you can watch them as what they really are: Clowns. They are pandering and preening for your amusement, and their “like-minded” fans are even more entertaining, since they actually believe this nonsense! It’s sad, yes, and ultimately destructive in many cases, but at least if you know it is basically just Performance Art, you won’t get sucked into the Hate along with the others.