A few days ago, I was watching a podcast named ‘PersonBehindThePersona‘. In one segment, one of the guests, Jaiyaxh, talked about his past “edgy” self. The internet meme culture, he said, had made him an uptight kid. He spoke about not taking anything seriously and treating everything as a joke. He said that after turning 18, he realised that being so judgmental can be detrimental to one’s mental health.
While watching the podcast, I was reminded of my own past self. Like Jaiyaxh, I too had been exposed to the internet at a very young age. During my final years in school, I would spend a lot of time making funny memes on Google Plus, trying to piss off fanboys and fangirls.
At that time, I used to watch Filthy Frank on YouTube and was heavily influenced by his eccentric and unconventional behaviour online. His videos were offensive but funny, and he’d often mock people who acted like “normies”.
I feigned myself as a wannabe edgy kid who couldn’t be offended. I always thought words couldn’t sting me, and that people could think of me as a cool kid. Back then, I never thought that my so-called personality was a façade. In reality, I only did it because I wanted clout in my social circles.
Eventually, that fake charisma fell apart in 2017. The internet itself was going through its transition period. The apocalypse made YouTube crackdown on edgy content creators. Things for me started to change when I started making political jokes on Facebook.
I became hostile to people’s opinions and feelings. I was making jokes at the expense of other people. The arguments with teenage fans had also made me very toxic. Slowly, I was starting to become a bully. This was despite the fact that I was bullied a lot in school.
Soon after, the whole ordeal made me go through a transitional period. I started to regret my actions, and I also began to lose interest in making memes. After a bit of introspection, I decided to quit Google Plus for good after the board exams were over.
I did have second thoughts because it was the only personality I had developed during my waning years of school. But it wasn’t worth ruining my life over a bunch of memes, jokes, and a decaying personality.
After phasing out from my past self, I decided not to be edgy in public. During college, I tried to be edgy only to regret it later. One time, I called someone’s face hilarious. He didn’t seem to like the joke very well. I couldn’t blame him because I really shouldn’t have said something like that.
You see, back in my school, my classmates (even my teachers) in Class 11 and 12 could tolerate my jokes. But in a college like Amity University, Noida, where people come from different backgrounds, not a lot of people were tolerant of a joke.
It’s also advisable to make dark humour jokes only in your private space. Recently Activision Blizzard has been going through a lawsuit. The said lawsuit involves making rape jokes in a public workplace in front of female colleagues. I don’t think making rape jokes in front of female colleagues is ever funny.
Lastly, I’d like to add that I don’t blame Filthy Frank for my toxic behaviour. The fault was mine, and I’ll take accountability for all the hurt I’ve caused to people. Filthy Frank himself branched out from his YouTube channel to focus on his music career. So in a way, I was inspired by Franku Senpai to leave my past self to do what I love – writing.
Anish Bala is a law student currently studying in Amity Law School, Noida and he loves drawing, writing articles and playing video games. You can find him on Instagram @bargad97.
Featured image credit: Anish Bala