Why Everyone on the Internet Is Wrong

Mark Manson
4 min readMay 8


One of my all-time favorite comics is this classic from xkcd:

We’ve all been there. For some of us, it’s embarrassing to admit how often. There’s something about the internet that proliferates tedious and dumb arguments about things that probably don’t matter.

There are at least three predictable failures in logic that the internet exacerbates in everyone. The result: the maddening perception that everyone is wrong, all the damn time.

1. Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Absence

There’s a famous Tweet that has been reposted by so many people at this point that I have no idea who originally said it. But it summarized the internet thus:

Person A: “I like oranges. They taste great!”

Person B: “Oh, so you hate bananas then? Perhaps if you opened your mind to other fruits, you wouldn’t be so prejudiced. Geez. Educate yourself.”

There’s a maxim in logic that says, “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Just because I didn’t say I like bananas, doesn’t mean I don’t like bananas.

I’d say this fallacy accounts for roughly 30% of the criticisms I get, and probably around 50% of the criticisms I see occurring on social media.

For example, I might write an article about six common relationship habits that are toxic… and then proceed to get a dozen emails from people mad at me because of that one toxic thing that happened to them that one time that wasn’t mentioned in the article and how could I be so ignorant of such an obvious example and have you even been in a relationship? I bet you’ll die alone.

(Okay, they don’t actually say that last part… usually.)

I think this mental error proliferates on the internet because when talking to someone in person, you can simply interrupt the conversation and ask them, “Have you considered this other thing?” And they can say, “Oh yeah, of course, I love bananas too, but I was just talking about oranges.” And then you both move on with your lives. Crisis averted.



Mark Manson

Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.