Interview with a Nihilist

Kouta is an incredibly composed person, sarcastic at his best, and intensely cynical at his worst. As a whole, I feel like he perfectly encapsulates a standard user in the online community we frequent. Nihilism is worn like a badge of honor for all of us. Therefore, I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to interview him and get what I would imagine to be a standard answer from a nihilistic teenage member of the community. I was immediately shocked with the first question, though, when I asked him how long he had been present in the community. I had expected his answer to be 2016 or later, like myself, but rather he said 2012, which completely took me by surprise. This is interesting and important to me and for my observations because it says a lot about how the community effected him as a person, as well as the other way around. Another thing that I found shocking was when I asked him about direct messaging. I expected him to use direct messaging fairly often to communicate, as I do, but I was shocked to learn that he rarely, if ever, messages someone who hasn’t messaged him first. I also asked several questions where I specifically asked how he thought that other members of the community would, and the answers I got for those were extremely telling. I believe the answers for those will fit well into my paper as I compare and contrast with my own observations that either support or argue against what he believes. One of the most fascinating quotes I gathered was his view on callout culture, which I didn’t even think to ask about, and he brought up entirely on his own. In response to a question about how he would react to a friend liking something offensive, he said, “If you’re involved with someone who has taboo views or likes things that are considered unhealthy, people will write callouts. They’ll write callouts for people who do it, but they’ll also write them for people engaging. Like hey this person knows OP, unfollow them. It’s like, you constantly have to be engaging in healthy behaviors in order to like, maintain your internet presence and have people like you. When you like the weird shit, that’s all your surrounded by, because those are the only people that will accept you. There’s like this divide, where you have to choose. Do I want to not care and have a lot of people not like me and be with people that like me but they’re older and adults and like weird things, or do I want to be someone with a pitchfork and callout people who are doing wrong and stay on this side? It’s very black and white.” This quote shocked me, because it perfectly worded a conflict I had been feeling upset about myself, and I am excited and inspired by it.

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