The Internet is a toxic place, and I used to actively partake in that toxicity, leaving nasty social media comments about complete strangers. But after months of self-discovery, I started considering the feelings of others. That’s why I stopped commenting and started scrolling through the comments to see if anyone else had said what I was thinking.
I now know that when I used to leave negative comments, I was projecting my insecurities. Insecurities that surely other people struggle with. And if those people haven’t done the soul-searching I have, they may comment the same horrible things that the old me would have said. Seeing someone comment what I’m thinking reminds me that I’m not a terrible person. In fact, I’m an exponentially better person than the commenters who spread hate while I selflessly keep that hate in the innermost folds of my brain.
One day, I saw a couple on TikTok and thought one person was way more attractive than the other. I knew that didn’t need to be said. Not by me, anyway. Beauty standards are deeply and systemically ingrained in our minds, so I assumed there’d already be comments about what I’d observed. I scrolled through the comments, breathed a sigh of relief that other people had pointed it out, and then liked all the comments standing up for the “ugly” person. It’s the least I could do.
Of course, I don’t always find like-minded individuals in the comments. Once I thought a woman on Instagram looked like the secretary from Monsters, Inc. and no one in the comments had even said anything bad about her appearance. Everyone has their own perspective and that’s beautiful. It was weird though because they really looked exactly alike.
There was once a time when I might have commented my one-of-a-kind mean opinion, but those days are gone. Instead, I like to read other bullying comments and bask in the glory of the moral high ground. Some may say I need to bring this growth inward and assess the way I think about others, too. To those people I say, you sound awfully judgmental! But if you’re anything like me, you’ll be comforted to know that several of my exes agree with you.