If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

A Rant About Just Acting Like A Decent Human Being.
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Remember when we were children and we were told by countless sources – our first grade teachers, our parents, a little rabbit in Disney’s Bambi – that if we, even for a fathomable second, could not find a single nice word to say; then to not say anything at all? This advice – intended for us to make friends and not burn bridges at the tender age of five – was at the forefront of our minds in everything we did. We never thought for a minute that everyone who had ever given us that advice might have been guilty of it at some point in their life. We listened to it, or at least in some instances, pretended we did.

Then one day, we wake up and forget that little piece of advice. Something lights a fire within us so hot, so intense that we go back on our teachings of ‘just being nice.’ Somehow with puberty and the advent of social media – and maybe even a lack of empathy – folks in our millennial generation make remarks with no regard for another’s feelings. Not even the bat of an eyelash. And I’ve got to say; it’s getting really old.

The older we get the more we hear things like, “Nice guys finish last,” and “Being nice never got you anywhere,” but have you ever actually known that to be the case? Those clichés are nothing more than tired excuses for being callous and uncouth.

Now, maybe I’m out of line. Maybe I’m just naïve. But I really don’t understand how anyone could not have any clue that their words affect people, or not have any clue that the things they have said or will say are hurtful; or not even care that they hurt someone, for that matter.

We live in a society where even if you greet or compliment someone you hardly know or don’t know at all, you’re looked at like you’ve got three heads. As if to say, “How dare you say something nice to me? You hardly know me!” Are we so immune to niceties that we are, dare I say, offended by them?

What changes in that span of time between adolescence and adulthood that gives us the apparent right to be indecent to another human being? Do we get so hardened with life that it makes no difference if we’re nice, petty, complimentary, or offensive, anymore?

Now, let me all ask you a different question, what is so hard about being nice? About keeping harsh, hurtful words and phrases out of your vocabulary? Maybe your defense is, ‘that’s a childish notion; saying nice things or nothing at all.’ Maybe your defense is, ‘they were mean to me first’ or ‘they started it.’ Well, is that not one of the most childish things you’ve ever heard?

Use that childish advice; practice it in your daily lives. I am so sick of seeing rude responses to rightful opinions and shaming (from body to dog) on Facebook, reading mean tweets, and even hearing someone call another person a name on live TV or in a classroom at college. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a grown and capable adult. Making excuses for being impolite or saying something hurtful is a child’s excuse; an excuse for someone who does not know better.

It really is so simple to just be nice, or to just keep negative comments to yourself. I know for some people it’s easier said than done, but once we start, it won’t be so unheard of for someone to give a perfect stranger a compliment as they walk down the street. It begins with us, practicing what we’ll preach to our future kids, or else the vicious cycle will continue.

So, just to beat it in your head once more:

Cover Image Credit: Todd McKimmey

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Want to make a difference? Support small channels. Like, subscribe, donate to Patreon and  follow on Twitch and other platforms. Follow content that matters to you.

Clickbait, fake pranks, trash talking, oh no. 

The Paul Brothers have become somewhat of a household name. These two “humble” brothers from Ohio have made headline news because of their inappropriate and outrageous skits and stunts. Most recently, and most infamously, Logan Paul visited Japan where he went into the Aokigahara Forest (Suicide Forest) and filmed a man who had recently taken his life while laughing and mocking the hanging body. After the monumental backlash, Logan had not learned his lesson and later posted a video where he tasered a rat and pulled a koi out of his backyard bond, letting it die. 

This was the final straw for YouTube. They eventually took action by demonetizing his video and eventually his whole channel because of his “recent pattern of behavior”, but it was too late. YouTube, and content creators similar to the Paul Brothers, had already dug themselves into a hole they are continuing to dig themselves out of. 

What was once a place to create and entertain has morphed into a view hungry, greedy revenue machine for shallow young adults to gain their five minutes of fame. This has caused content creators to push the boundaries of what they post to get views which started the domino effect of demonetization and censorship. In attempt to solve the problems they created, YouTube created an algorithm which ended up letting vulgar, disgusting and foul things past. Creators who spent weeks, and somethings months creating videos were getting demonetized for something in the background or one bad word while “Spider-man taking advantage of Elsa” was getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad revenue. 

Creators like RiceGum, Tana Mongeau and the Paul Brothers, while not generally posting “inappropriate” content, post 10:01 videos filled with lots of yelling, trash talking, lies, but most importantly, no genuine content to get ad revenue. They have learned the algorithm, morphed the algorithm to play in their favor while their young fans hang off of every word they say. 

“Storytime” and drama channels have taken over ad spaces and the top trending list while creators who spend hundreds of hours creating, filming and editing their videos lose out on revenue even though they normally have consistent viewership. This has discouraged creators from posting content for fear of demonetization, even though the content would be well received by followers. These fulltime YouTubers now worry about where next months rent will come from.

YouTube, what was once a creative platform, now care about the creators who will rake in the most money and if that means sacrificing quality of content then that is what they will do. 

Want to make a difference? Support small channels. Like, subscribe, donate to Patreon and  follow on Twitch and other platforms. Follow content that matters to you.

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Cover Image Credit: Everypixel.com

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