When you last saw a YouTube video, did you skim through the comments to see if anyone else had the same thoughts and reactions? More often than not, trolls and people who don’t really have anything nice to say have the loudest voices.

I wonder how they can live like that, being the most toxic beings and deriving pleasure from bringing everyone else down. Actually, I really don’t want to know.

A few months ago, I started watching an American Twitch streamer in Japan. It was great being able to connect to a community who shared the same interests with the streamer.

At the time, she didn’t want to eat anything heavy or with meat since her stomach was sensitive. So I commented “it kind of sucks that there isn’t a lot of vegan restaurant food around Japan. I feel a lot better after having some veg.” She gave a little chuckle as she asked if I was vegan in friendly disbelief, wondering what I usually ate.

Then a user commented this: “Veganism is a made-up Western ideology that doesn’t exist. Plants grow from the bodies of dead animals. How is that vegan?”

I wanted to refute them with something like I’m not taking the life of an animal to satiate me for a meal, at least. But I held back because it’s pointless to argue in the moment. I don't want to be the totalitarian evangelist that tells you you need to eat veg-only, or else. Instead I just said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I was only offering some alternatives.”

I then quietly left the stream. It’s not worth getting defensive about.

Photo by bantersnaps / Unsplash

It seems like no matter where I go, I don’t belong. It doesn’t matter if I was vegan. I’m just too different all around for anyone to really truly understand. If it’s not the person I’m interacting with, it’s bystanders. It’s the other fans that somehow take offense to my words or ideas. I didn’t want to believe it when I was young.

Differences causes grief.

For instance, I grew up and identify as American and naively thought I can be friends with everybody. Yet the only thing some people see is a dark skinned Asian, making them reluctant to even be around me. I see others for who they are and, quite frankly, forget that a thing called "race" exists until someone comes and reminds me about it or taking a look in the mirror. I’m mixed with a bit of German, Irish, and other things, too, but that doesn’t matter to me any more than just wanting to be friends.

When I used to comment, I had the intention of praising the creator for the skills or selfless actions they have done. Sometimes I would even post something out of good humor. Most of the time I feel great just leaving something to show my appreciation and hoping they have a happier day.

But when I speak up in a group, I’m a minority. In fact, I’ve went from a quiet obedient boy to an exploratory gung-ho college student, back to being a quiet, reclusive adult. The only thing I’ll probably do now is just tap the like button to show support.

Do I keep to the train tracks, or do I take a step over and walk my own way?

Then, I got a really great idea. If I can’t find other like-minded people, maybe I can create a space for you to visit! I’m not saying I want attention. I just want people to feel like they have a place to belong here, too. A little less lonely for all of us.

Of course, this could all backfire and make me more miserable when one day I might see an ever-growing inbox of distasteful tweets. I may have grown a little callous over my life, but no one should have to go through toxicity.

It’s part of adult life? It shouldn’t have to be that way.

Then again, everyone is unique and has their own opinions. If everyone were forced to be the same, then I doubt everyone would be happy.

I’ve decided to not have a comment box for each blog post. Originally, I thought about keeping it to have a sense of community. But I think it’s more important to form our own ideas than let others sway us. Let my posts be inspiration or food for thought whether you agree or disagree with my ideas.

I do have to thank Cove.chat for previously providing a comment system in the first place. So if you find that your Ghost blog (a content management system probably 10x better than Wordpress) has different needs than mine, I highly encourage you to check it out and support its creator.

Otherwise, keeping thoughts to oneself is good from time to time in this crazy world.