The Know-It-All, Blog Commenting, Elitist Photographer

If you spend any time on photography websites and blogs, and especially if you read comment sections, you have probably seen your fair share of “know-it-all” photographers. And let me say, this phenomenon is not unique to the photography world, but it seems there is a higher a-hole ratio within this niche. These comments usually come in the form of simple, to-the-point declarations like, “basic stuff,” or “old news,” or more elaborate and thought-provoking diatribes like, “this post is completely useless, every photographer should already know this.”

But whatever form it comes in, know this: Human beings don’t know things until they do. We aren’t born with the knowledge of our ancestors pre-programmed into our craniums. After exiting the womb, the bowl of noodles between our ears does not automatically assimilate the entire store of human intelligence.

To the “Know-It-All” Photographer, with Love:

See, this is how things work (and I know I need to explain it thanks to your inane blog comment): There was a time long ago when you were born, and like everyone else, you didn’t know anything. Then gradually you learned, and then you learned some more because there were people willing to teach you. This wasn’t always “basic stuff” to you of course, and I’m guessing back when you were learning, you wouldn’t have found it constructive for someone to go around assuming everyone should already know this stuff. Please, tell me if I’m wrong.

Just because you know it, doesn’t mean the job of teaching is over. If the blog you commented on was entirely geared to professionals and know-it-alls like you, then maybe “basic stuff” would be an appropriate comment. Instead, it’s just pretentious and elitist.

So it would seem there are those who get an extra special dopamine rush when they discover they know something that someone else doesn’t, particularly after they proceed to point it out. But this is entirely unimpressive. There are millions and billions of people on this planet learning new things every day, and millions and billions of people who will come along later and learn those things again.

So you know something that someone else doesn’t? Good for you. Bravo. Give yourself a nice long round of applause.


Then get over yourself.

There are those elitists who go around on forums and comment sections, trying to be the internet and topic police, telling people they are “noobs” and to “go read the FAQ,” and “don’t end your sentences with a preposition.” But these people really just clutter things up. It would be easier and better for everyone if they would just answer the question and move on, or better yet (assuming they can’t refrain from smugness), just don’t comment at all.

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