Links You Absolutely Shouldn’t Click

If I seem tired today it’s because I clicked on a Reddit link in 2013 that I definitely knew at the time I shouldn’t click and I haven’t slept since.

The Internet is like Manhattan. One block is full of amazing looking food, the next one is a bunch of giant advertisements, and the next block there’s just a person shitting and you turn around but not quite fast enough.

I don’t click on that kind of stuff, as a rule; I know bad links when I see them. Every video is hosted on Youtube and then all of a sudden one is on no-rules-videos.net and I know I’m not going to like that video because it turns out, I love rules. Rules like, “you can’t post a video of people dying.”

What happened was I love heights. So I was watching this video of people doing parkour on terrifying rooftops and I thought to myself, “Man, I love this stuff. But it’s amazing they never fall!” And just like the worst genie in the world, the Internet answered my unspoken thought in the way the Internet always does: “You’re wrong, Alex. Oh how wrong you are.”

Turns out, they do. And people on Reddit are happy to show you videos of. Don’t click those videos, my friend! Those are the worst people. I know some people say, “Nazis” or “Investment bankers” or “investment bankers for Nazis” (people really do say that but it always comes out, “Switzerland is so beautiful!”). But I say the worst people are people who see a video of people doing a cool thing, and then post a link to a video of people dying from that thing.

But that’s what scares me about the Internet, it’s such a thin line. You’re just wandering down a pleasant country road — oh look a goat that makes human noises! — and then all of a sudden you’re walking down THE ROAD and a cannibal ate your mom.

That’s so different from the way the rest of the media works. You’re never watching American Ninja Warrior and then announcer is like, “That’s not a ninja, this is a real ninja” and then a Japanese assassin jumps out and stabs all those rock climbers in the heart.

So stay safe out there. My mantra is “You know what? I didn’t need to see that.” I say it over and over again.

And even though Reddit is great, it’s also a place where you have to be real careful. For example, there’s r/kidsfallingdown which is just good, clean fun. And there’s r/nononono which is just r/nononoyes but for people who don’t like happy endings. But nobody dies there as far as you can see, and that’s a good start. Even better, I prefer to stick to completely safe subreddits like r/peoplefuckingdying, which isn’t about people dying at all, because the Internet is fucked up.