There are a lot of web content creators I used to follow. Back when I was younger and had more time to devote to passively keeping up with internet celebrities and pop culture websites and all of that. With declining free time and increasing standards, there are several places and people I followed quite regularly that I’ve completely abandoned over the last ten years.
Here’s a few of them, and you might notice a common theme…
The ultimate listicle website, the clickbait that actually taught you interesting facts about media and about the world. I loved Cracked! I read so many articles for it that I ended up subscribing to it via Pulse News, my first RSS reader.
Not everything was good—many of the articles were pretty crappy and the clickbait was downright Buzzfeed worthy—but for some reason I enjoyed the site anyway. I especially loved the After Hours video series where four Cracked writers would talk about pop culture phenomenons in interesting ways. I imagine those videos may actually hold up, even if the rest of the site really does not.
In the end, I started to realize the truth—it’s all still just clickbait. Sometime around 2014 the content started getting less and less interesting, with more articles that felt like people ranting about their political views than actually covering an interesting topic. A lot of the internet was like that back then. After a while, I just got annoyed and quit for good.
Since then I think there’s been a lot of controversy involving pay and sexual assault and that kind of stuff, and I’m just glad I wasn’t around to experience any of it.
Collider/AMC Movie Talk
About once or twice a week I would watch at least part of the Movie Talk Youtube/podcast series, where various people would round up the latest movie news kind of like a sports talk show.
It was a fair way to keep up with the news I guess, but once I realized I’d be saving hours of my life just to read (or skim) the articles directly, it felt pretty silly to bother watching this one.
Maybe the personalities could have saved it for me, but for the most part Movie Talk was just a bunch of middle aged dudes being very opinionated about blockbusters. They hardly EVER talked about movies aside from blockbusters, and it annoyed me a lot.
Now I just read the trades, which means my soul is null and void, but meh.
Self-explanatory. I liked the MST3K-ish feeling of joking along with a movie but in a compressed timeframe, sometimes making nitpicks and sometimes saying nonsense. But then the creator started making Rant in Your Car videos… And it basically showed to me that he really thought his videos were valid criticism. He really did have huge problems with blockbuster movies and hated this crap.
Once that set in for me, I stopped caring. Just like with Movie Talk, I guess it was the realization that blockbuster movies are not the only damn thing on Earth.
I stuck up for this asshole for years, and I don’t even know why! Maybe I liked most of the movies he wrote, and even some of his unproduced screenplays are still pretty good. But he was one of those Twitter Celebrities who constantly got in fights and was rude to everyone. So, why did I like him as a person?
When he got Me Too’d, it was less like “holy shit, really?” and more like “oh, yeah I guess that makes sense.”
The Hard Times
For a time, especially with Gawker-controlled The Onion, Hard Times was actually the funniest satirical news on the internet. It knew its niche of punk band nerds and video game nerds and dug down into that. Lots of really funny articles.
When I started religiously using an RSS Reader for the first time back in 2019, Hard Times was one of the sites I decided to follow, and I read every article that seemed funny from the headline.
But then the 2020 Presidential Election happened and the site stopped being funny. The Onion did too, but it had been on a decline anyway. I won’t mince words: the writers for Hard Times became full-on Bernie Bros and it was obnoxious. The demographics for Hard Times were ripe for the transformation—most readers were young, white progressive men and you know how that goes. They were aggressively political in every post and lambasted every single non-Bernie Sanders politician in every article.
Once satire loses the satire, it just becomes pointless rants by men whose opinions I don’t want to hear.
Bad Content Creators
As I wrote this article, I came to a realization. A common link about all these people and sites I stopped following. You probably came to the realization too.
I stopped following these content creators because of smug assholes. A bunch of aggressive, opinionated men shooting their mouths off about whatever. And if your opinion doesn’t match, there’ll be hell to pay.
I don’t know why I surrounded myself with so much negativity and Dudebroness for so many years. These content creators were generally mean, or at the very least grumpy. None of them made me feel better. So I abandoned them and never looked back.
I wonder what I’ll abandon in the twenties… We’ll have to see.
Feeling bummed out about dumb internet content creators? Why not check out a GOOD piece of internet content?