Thought Catalog

What You Should Do The Next Time You Hate-Read Something Online

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In the future, let’s all agree to follow the money. Let’s all agree to understand why things happen; even better, let’s all agree to understand that the world is not ordered to make us feel either good, or bad. The world doesn’t care about us. The world cares about money. The world is run to make money.

Once you understand that the world revolves around cash, not you, the next time you read an online article that simultaneously makes your blood pressure skyrocket, while reinforcing all the not-so-secret fears you have about how you’re worthless, lonely, unlovable, ugly, destined to be alone, etc… well, now. Maybe understanding that the article was written to make money will allow you to not waste your life taking infotainment so personally.

Follow the money. Understand that any given article was written to get the author attention, and that people always stop to ogle a car wreck. Hence the old expression, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Once written, the article was published to create controversy and drive traffic to the website. Traffic to the website means—surprise!—money for advertisers, which means more money for the website, which means, follow the money. Websites want advertisers and advertisers want to sell. Changing the world is a pretty thought, but if women started feeling great about themselves, would they really spend twenty-five dollars for eye crème?

Advertisers know that quickest way to your wallet is through your fears.

Follow the money. If some author writes, for example, that women who aren’t married are pathetic, or that people without children are “selfish”… alrighty then. If the scribe in question is so happy being married, why is she bothering to be so miserable to others? If people with children are so happy being parents, how come they have so much time to worry about what my vagina is doing? My vagina doesn’t worry a damn about them, by the way. Their approval is not necessary to any part of my anatomy. Perhaps, in an alternate universe, we could all be honest and write real articles about real issues instead of derogatory, mindless crap that sells. Perhaps.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, so ask yourself why you’re consenting to other people’s manipulations of you. Because the articles are there, you say. Spoiler alert: this might be the point in your life when you learn to prioritize and let go. Otherwise, you’re going to waste your (limited) time on this planet sabotaging yourself. Instead of investing in yourself and your career, instead of focusing on the things you like to do that make you happy, that make you feel alive, that enable you to live a full life… you’ll allow yourself to waste your life stewing over horseshit “news you can use.” You’ll make advertisers very happy. But your career and life goals? Not so much.

Follow the money because the world isn’t ordered for your amusement; it’s ordered to make money. So if you’re angry, join the club: you should be angry because the world is full of lying, can’t, and cruelty. However, instead of wasting your time looking for ways to savor your self-defeating anger, go for a run, walk a shelter dog, get laid, have a drink, meditate. Call your mom, volunteer, run for office, tell a joke, mentor a kid at risk, go ride a bike, read a book, make someone laugh, or even go off-line and enjoy real life. I hear it’s awesome and that they have cookies.

Websites make money by running controversial (cough, poorly written) articles. So stop allowing yourself to be manipulated by infotainment. If you want to be angry over something, be angry at how easily you’re manipulated. Be angry at how much of your valuable life you waste allowing other people to make you feel bad about being human. Also, I’m sure that the “author” of this inane bile is so fulfilled by her own marriage, that she has to satisfy herself making other women feel like shit. Of course she must be totally happy, having multiple orgasms left and right, skipping through her days. That must be why she has so much time to judge.

“Following the money,” also means allowing yourself to live the life you desire, by understanding why you make the choices you do. Are you not married because you can’t meet anyone good… or because you don’t really think you deserve a good person, and so you sabotage all your relationships? Are you not married because you work insane hours, or do you work insane hours because you were raised to believe you’re a loser whom no one could ever love? How are you avoiding life? Are you avoiding it? Why?

You can roll your eyes at me, but this moment is your life. The more you understand this crazy, beautiful, terrifying, weird, hilarious, depressing, heartbreaking thing known as “your life,” the more you might start enjoying it so much that one day you realize you don’t give a crap about moronic articles that once reduced you to tears. TC mark

image – Porsche Brosseau

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