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Internet society: is it helping or worsening people’s lives?

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The Internet is a way for people to gain entertainment. Ever since the rise of internet culture, famous celebrities and internet personalities, such as Beyoncé and Tyler Oakley, have made huge impacts on people worldwide. However, despite such popularity, many fans and their idols do not seem so fitting for this kind of responsibility. Some people seem to be too dumb to understand the consequences of their actions.

One example would be Logan Paul, a YouTuber who currently has 15.6 million subscribers, visited the famous Suicide Forest in Japan. He and his posse found a dead body and proceeded to laugh and make jokes about it, enraging many on the Internet. While people have been calling out Paul on his terrible video on social media and telling YouTube staff to demonetize his insulting and offensive video, his obnoxious preteen fans, called the “Logang”, have been defending him and claiming he has not done anything wrong. Besides that, We The Unicorns, a YouTuber news site, made a compilation video of Paul doing more offensive things in Japan, like disturbing a koi pond, throwing Pokéballs at the locals, and telling a Japanese store clerk that his Game Boy Color was “much-o broken-o.”

The problematic Paul later deleted the video off his channel and made two “apologies”—in text and in video—mainly talking about how “sorry” he was while boasting about his success, unprofessionally cursing, and completely forgetting to mention the dead man he insulted. His fans replied to him sweetly, telling him that he does not need to apologize.

Meanwhile, Reina Scully, a Japanese vlogger, shared her opinions as a YouTuber and as a person of Japanese blood, calling Paul “sick” and believing that he sees the Japanese as “characters” more than people. Paul’s immature fans unfairly threatened her on the comments section with racial slurs and claimed that she posted the video for views. This kind of behavior is completely problematic and should not be tolerated.

People on social media have talked about how someone they watched on a computer/phone screen had “personally connected”, “changed them for the better,” or “made them happy,” regardless of how problematic they are. The obsession of an iconic figure like Logan Paul is definitely not one of the best, but one of the worst things that could happen to a person.

Another example of problematic people on the Internet are extreme writers and readers of fanfiction, stories made by fans based on their favorite celebrities or fictional characters. Seventeen magazine reported on July 24, 2017, that Louis Tomlinson, a member of One Direction, had lost his close friendship with fellow member Harry Styles due to their fans pairing them together in a gay relationship through the ship name “Larry.” Although Tomlinson had past relationships, as well as having a child in 2016, many Larry shippers saw it as cover for Styles’ and Tomlinson’s so-called “relationship,” and even made death threats towards his baby. People write fanfiction to make themselves entertained and happy, but many writers tend to forget the difference between reality and fiction. Because of this, it creates tension between fans and celebrities.

However, people have created wonderful friendships and close relationships with other fans on the Internet through their interests. As someone who has experienced this, I have met the nicest, most responsible people in the world and created great friendships with them since they have helped me overcome hardships. Talking to friends on social media has become a form of therapy. On the other hand, I have witnessed people on platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, wasting their time creating useless and nonsensical fan wars, making many enemies and making many bystanders uncomfortable and frustrated. This makes the fans and celebrities look bad, which ruins the experience as a fan and as a celebrity.

According to Pam Ramsden from The Conversation, these poorly-made actions are motivated through the desire for attention, sadistic intentions, apathy, and vengeance. Bad behavior on the Internet is a waste of time and the worst game changer of someone’s life. It would not be such a bad environment if fans and content creators were nicer and more mature. Stop, calm down, and think about the consequences before making a fool of yourself on the Internet.

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