January 3, 2021•1,208 words
Sometimes I will hear or read, "Don't read the comments." They often won't tell you why you shouldn't, though.
As a content creator, you have a difficult decision to make. Whether you're a YouTuber, a journalist, a programmer, or create some other type of content and upload to the Internet for others to enjoy, more often than not you want feedback. You're excited to see what other people are thinking about your article, your video, etc. But you debate on whether you should do that, because more often than not, the comments are very toxic and have nothing to do with constructive criticism.
A lot of commentors won't even bother to read the entirely of the article. They'll ask a question that was already answered in it. Some people will even think that your article is clickbait, and as such, will say, "Let me save you a click, here's the summary of the article..." But most of the time the feedback is just downright toxic, useless, people just trying to deliberately argue or contradict what the article says just so that they can get attention. 99% of the article may be good, but that 1% is what everybody is going to nitpick and stab to death, and that's all they'll focus on. Let's just say that, if there isn't any comment, nobody has a problem with the article. As the saying goes, "No news is good news."
I've risked my sanity many times trying to read those comments.
It's incredibly difficult not to respond in kind. It's hard to not defend yourself. But doing so makes you look even more bad.
Part of my New Year's resolution was to deactivate my Reddit accounts. I did so yesterday.
If you've visited Reddit before, you know how cancerous, toxic of a place it is. I mean, it's a good place to get news and other information, but if you're submitting your own content, do yourself a favor and don't do it there, unless you want to rip the hairs out of your head by reading the comments.
As a journalist for Boiling Steam, I've been writing for the site for about three years total. Started in 2015, took a break for a couple of years in 2017, then resumed since 2019. I really do enjoy writing stuff for the site, like a review for the PinePhone, the Pinebook Pro, Sony's DualSense controller, tutorials on how to emulate Nintendo Switch games on Linux, an overview of cloud gaming, the like.
I regret having ever visited Reddit for when my articles get posted there.
My articles are written on a voluntary basis, and yet peer-reviewed, meticulously crafted, and accurate. I've spent hard-earned cash on the hardware I review and get no compensation in return. A lot of times, that applies to games as well. As it stands, we have no patrons on Patreon.
A lot of times I don't even get a simple "Thank you," for the guides I've written over the years. My Switch tutorial peaked at over 20K unique viewers; by far my most popular article on Boiling Steam. Nobody has even asked me any questions on how to get help with X part of the guide.
Just recently we published a collaborative article on our top games for 2020. Frigging morons on Reddit gotta complain that half of the article is using Proton, one of the games is a GameCube title, and other games we never played weren't included.
Here's a fun fact: as the title of the article mentions, this is our picks for 2020, not "Top picks of 2020." We mentioned right in the beginning:
Here’s our top picks of games either released in 2020, or that got so significant of an enhancement this year that it was worth including in this list, whether they’re native Linux releases or work well on Proton.
So, the reason why Super Smash Bros. Melee was included in the list, is because it's possible to emulate the game with an emulator, on frigging Linux. It's mentioned in the article because Linux support for online multiplayer was added last summer, in 2020.
"How can Crusader Kings 3, Wasteland 3, or other "X" game not be on this list?"
Another fun fact: we have never played those games before, that's why they're not on the list. To the community, those games may be a big thing, but the fact we still haven't played them doesn't mean they're our picks.
"All of these games are using Proton!"
No, they're not. There are at least five games on that list that are native, including DRAG, Stardew Valley, and others. Besides, what's the matter with Proton? Proton helps make Windows-only games playable on Linux, that we would never have been able to play otherwise.
I really do want to hear people's thoughts on the articles I write or the videos I produce. Sadly, Reddit is one of the few places where we ever get any sort of feedback, and it's just not worth my time anymore. I've tried blocking some Redditors so I don't see their useless comments, but I could still easily read them by logging out of my account.
So, I figure the best way to get rid of Reddit entirely out of my life is by deleting my accounts (yes, I have more than one, for various reasons). After I did so, I deleted my bookmarks. Never want to see that trash pit again.
Those of you who are still reading this and are content creators, I tip my hat to you if you can manage not losing your mind reading some of the crappiest comments out there. I admire the fact that you can keep your cool. As for me, getting Reddit out of my life I feel has been for the benefit of my mental health and sanity. Oh, I also got rid of Twitter a while ago too. Now I feel more productive; I can keep myself busy working on projects rather than wasting my time browsing social media, only to see people rant and moan about their lot in life and complaining about other people's work.
Once in a great while, I will get that gold nugget of a positive comment, even on places like Reddit. I will get that "Thank you for taking a look at this product." For this, you guys rock. Thank you for lifting up my spirits. That helps me to keep going and write more content. But again, seeing comments like those require a good amount of digging and blocking other toxic individuals. If possible, I encourage you to leave your comments directly on the article rather than other places. If you're uncomfortable needing to use your email address in order to comment, you can always generate a fake one.
Think that's it for today. I may very well end up getting rid of my Discord account as well, since it's something I don't use very often. I won't be getting as much feedback on my articles now, but hopefully that less feedback means more positive feedback.
In the meantime I'm working on a program that can change the LED colors of the DualSense controller; give it a whirl if you have one!