This applies to a variety of relationships and situations, including romantic endeavors, friendships, professional connections, and more.
Today, I’m talking about online community, and what to do when there is rejection. In this case, it’s YouTube.
I don’t use any social networking, although some might say that YouTube is such. I see YouTube as being primarily a video website, where community is secondary, or possibly even tertiary. All the same, there is a community and participating is something I enjoy doing.
I have a set of rules that I have used for years, when commenting on videos.
- Stay on-topic.
- Do not attack others.
- No foul language.
- Try to keep it short [VERY difficult for me].
- Encourage engagement.
- Ignore trolls.
That’s my basic set of rules, and I do my best to stick to them. Being brief is a challenge sometimes.
The other day, I left a comment on a video on a channel to which I subscribe. I had been subscribed to them for over five years, so this was kind of a big deal to me, because I had been an active member of the community.
I was even considering joining their Patreon. More about that later.
During those five years, I would comment, get responses, and even reply to other comments, no problem.
The problem, and this is my educated guess, is that the channel got so big that they hired moderators to delete any comments that might be disruptive to the community. They saw mine, misunderstood it, and deleted it.
Being an Autistic man, one might assume that I’d be used to being misunderstood by now. But no, nobody ever really gets used to that. However, I am accepting it as how things are for me, and it makes it all the more valuable to me when someone actually DOES get me.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Regardless of how it got deleted, who deleted it, or even whatever weak reason they may have, the bottom line is that it was still deleted.
What this does is removes me from participating in the community conversation regarding the topic of the video. I don’t watch things willy-nilly, and don’t go subscribing to just anyone.
WHAT I DID
The comment I left was on a video that was maybe 15 minutes old, which means that people are going to be showing up and commenting more, when compared to an older video.
So after about ten minutes, I went back to see if I had gotten any responses. I was hoping to engage a few fellow subscribers. Given how things are, I will take any social interaction that I can get.
They way I have my YouTube settings, when I go back to a video like this, my comment will appear at the top. This time, I did not see it, so I went to my history and clicked on Comments. It wasn’t in the list.
What I did was first go back to the video in question. I didn’t make a stink or kick up any dust about it.
I just clicked “Unsubscribe” and quietly moved on.
A NEW ATTITUDE ABOUT LIFE
If someone doesn’t like me, then I won’t be sad about it or try to force them to like me. I won’t get depressed or otherwise sad about it. I won’t get angry about it. I won’t ruminate on the situation and wonder what went wrong.
I used to do things like that, quite frequently. It made life very depressing, stressful, and messy.
If a potential employer doesn’t like me, then I move on.
If a musician doesn’t like me, then I move on.
If a woman doesn’t adore me, then I move on.
If a friend is being abusive, then I move on.
If someone doesn’t respond to an email, then I move on.
THE RECURRING THEME
I trust that everyone reading this is intelligent enough to spot the recurring theme. Moving on is how you regain your power, dignity, and self-respect. Letting go of the experience leaves your hands open for receiving new experiencse, which may or may not work out. If they work out, then great.
If they do not work out, then… well, you know.
A WORD ABOUT PATREON AND PREMIUM MEMBERSHIPS
This is something that I typically will not do, because of a past experience.
I had become a Premium member for a guy who does an internet radio show. I had listened to him since 1988 on regular radio. So by 2016, I was a long-standing regular who had participated in the community over the decades.
I had just paid $120 for a one year Premium package, when the host announced a birthday party. They were selling tickets, and I decided that going to this birthday party would be cool. I had gone to his first-ever listener party, and was the first person to get an autographed photo, so I was more than a little invested in this.
But I messed up.
When I had signed up for the Premium service, I joined using my PERSONAL email address and paid with a credit card. However, when I bought a ticket for the birthday party, I used my PayPal, which is attached to my BUSINESS email address. Attendance of the birthday party was $25.
This set off red flags for them, and they wrote to tell me that I’d not be let into the party.
To summarize, I had been a fan for 28 years. In the short span of just THREE calendar days, I spend $120 on a Premium membership, $25 on a birthday party ticket, and then was unceremoniously kicked out of the entire thing, while being called a “troll.”
IN THE END
I invest in no one but myself. For my entire life, I’ve been the kind of person to do for others all the time, all while believing that doing for myself would be Narcissism. The truth is that it would be Narcissism only if I were doing for myself AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.
I don’t do things at the expense of others, so it’s fine to love myself and invest in myself.
Whether it’s a radio show or a YouTube channel, I never give money. The second I do, it seems that I am shown the end of the road and I am left feeling ripped off.
Participating in a community of any kind is a rare opportunity for me, and I show respect for that opportunity by following the rules as closely as possible, and being the kind of person who will be thoughtful and engaging.
When the leadership of that community shows disrespect by unceremoniously deleting a comment that does not break TOS and is not offensive, or they are inflexible with certain rules when an honest mistake is made [like the birthday party], then I move on.
The world is full of so many people, situations, and opportunities, that it makes absolutely NO sense to stick around and continue to either engage or support anyone or any group that doesn’t want you around.
Quietly leaving and not looking back is how I regain my self-respect after being disrespected by a community leader.