Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – On Reddit
by Dan Walsh
For the last two weeks I have posted an original essay everyday to Reddit. These essays are all posts from this blog. I still have another 2 weeks to go before I wrap up this little experiment, but it has been a harrowing experience so far. Actively seeking judgement from a notoriously unforgiving community on some of my deepest thoughts is hard. Overall it has been rewarding, but that doesn’t make it less difficult. In fact, the harder it is, the more rewarding it becomes.
I will write a full post about the entire project once it’s complete, but I felt like writing a short introduction today. Especially since I spent my entire morning writing a response to a Reddit user’s comment on my latest post instead of finalizing an overdue essay for The Kazushi.
It’s funny how these things can draw me in. I typically submit a post and then force myself to forget about it until after the work day. Otherwise I would incessantly check my comments and upvotes and accomplish nothing throughout the day. I also don’t typically respond to negative comments because they quickly devolve into a waste of time. After all, defending oneself on the internet is a losing battle. I’ve had posts were users absolutely hated what I wrote and somehow still kept my digital mouth shut. But something about this semi-anonymous user’s comment pulled me in.
I was compelled to respond because he didn’t understand. He wasn’t overly vicious or mean, he just didn’t get it. He didn’t even necessarily disagree with the ideas I put forth, he just didn’t understand what I was trying to say. But most importantly he didn’t understand me.
Of course, the valuable life lesson here is to BE ARTICULATE.
I wrote the essay, so the onus of understanding was on me. Obviously I failed. It was an admittedly hasty post, but I was genuinely trying to add value to the Reddit community. I can take all the virtual sticks and stones, but being misunderstood was apparently unbearable to me. I never went through that angsty “no one understands me” teenage phase, but I get it now. Everyone wants to be understood. Apparently sometimes even by anonymous users on Reddit.