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As Charles Bukowski famously said: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

Despite the fact that we have infinite knowledge at our fingertips with the internet, it appears that being online has only made some of us dumber. Or it has at least allowed us to showcase our stupidity in front of more people than ever before!

We took a trip to the I Am Very Smart subreddit and gathered some of their most hilarious posts down below. Enjoy scrolling through these examples of people believing they’re much smarter than they actually are, and keep reading to find a conversation with Scott Carter, CMHC!

#2

Show Me Your Words Per Minute And I'll Show You Mine

Show Me Your Words Per Minute And I'll Show You Mine

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#3

Said He Had An IQ Of 150

Said He Had An IQ Of 150

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To learn more about the phenomenon of people feeling the need to assert their intelligence online, we reached out to Clinical Mental Health Counselor Scott Carter, who was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda.

“I find that most people aren't nearly as aware or conscious of their own actions or behaviors as they ought to be,” Scott shared. “They assert themselves as experts, partially because they're failing to exercise sufficient enough awareness to realize that they aren't an expert, but it's more than a lack of awareness. It goes well beyond that.”

“Humans can easily be pulled into their own individual ego's need for superiority. People are always looking for ways to be better or look better than other people, but it's all rooted in the insecurities that they aren't willing to acknowledge,” the therapist continued. 

#5

Ah Yes, *now* I Understand

Ah Yes, *now* I Understand

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#6

So Nerdy UwU

So Nerdy UwU

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Leviathan
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why would you kill the joke.... it didn't hurt anyone.... You murdered it!

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“Deep down, they feel inferior, and this can seem like an obvious way to overcome that inferiority when it's not. It's a misnomer. People compensate for their deep-rooted insecurity and inferiority in many ways,” Scott explained.

“It might seem like the solution to insecurity and inferiority is for others to view us as smart or having expertise but again, it's a misnomer. When you speak as an expert to things that you know nothing about, you only deepen your own inferiority because you're creating a greater dissonance between what you think you know or making it look like you know versus what you actually do know.”

#7

Ah Yes, Family Guy, The Smartest Show Yet Written

Ah Yes, Family Guy, The Smartest Show Yet Written

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#8

Dude Claims He Settled For His Wife Because He Can’t “Find A Woman At His Level”

Dude Claims He Settled For His Wife Because He Can’t “Find A Woman At His Level”

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#9

This Was Their Response To "Treat Women Like People"

This Was Their Response To "Treat Women Like People"

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“But what else should we expect from a culture that is obsessed with hierarchies?” Scott asks, noting that status is everything these days. “Without status, we can't justifiably care about ourselves or see worth or value in ourselves, right? That's how it seems, anyway. Most of us fall for this illusion,” he continued. “That status equals importance, and importance equals respect and love. Making oneself look like an expert seems like an easy way to acquire status.”

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#10

Not Mine, But Her Name's Not Maria

Not Mine, But Her Name's Not Maria

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#12

"I'm An Engineer"

"I'm An Engineer"

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Astro
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

“We’re so much smarter than the rest of you! According to us! Aren’t you impressed yet?” Humans are exhausting

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The therapist went on to note that people do tend to do this in real life as well, but it’s been accelerated by the internet. “There's a strange phenomenon in which the least qualified and most biased people are the loudest and most aggressive about their perspectives,” he told Bored Panda.

“It's not necessarily that they think they're an expert, it's that their lack of awareness prevents them from seeing that they should probably just say nothing. The ability to be anonymous on the internet though really emboldens some people,” Scott added. “The anonymity of the internet is so much safer, it gives people something to run and hide behind when things get messy.”

#13

Only The Truly Superior Minds Can Understand Italian

Only The Truly Superior Minds Can Understand Italian

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#15

Guy On Facebook Whining Because His Words Are “Too Intellectual" For People To Understand

Guy On Facebook Whining Because His Words Are “Too Intellectual" For People To Understand

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"Disembodied voice"
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not saying dumb down or talk down to people but it is a skill to be able to communicate differently so people can understand you

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Scott went on to note that he’s spoken to many young people who have built and engineered an entirely different identity for themselves online. “They can easily lie about their age, their money, their status and anything else like expertise with little or no consequence,” he shared. 

“If you remove accountability and consequences, it emboldens people to do some really nasty things and there isn't much nastier than deception. They are seeking status, and they are sometimes willing to say or do whatever is necessary to get there.”

#16

They Only Teach One Thing In Business Schools

They Only Teach One Thing In Business Schools

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#17

Elon Musk Is Too Smart For Chess

Elon Musk Is Too Smart For Chess

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David
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

MUSK: "Chess is too easy. A bigger challenge was how to bankrupt Twitter in a few months while simultaneously making it hated by most. "

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#18

I Didn't Reject The Trad Life, The Trad Life Rejected Me

I Didn't Reject The Trad Life, The Trad Life Rejected Me

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Angeldust McQuade
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When someone brags that they’ve had a lot of sex, I believe they have not had any.

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We also asked the expert if he had any advice for people who feel the need to prove their intelligence online. “Each person should learn to ask themselves, honestly, if they have any ability to speak about an event or an issue, and they should also examine whether or not they have any experience with that situation,” Scott shared. 

“When the conflict in Israel popped up recently, I saw a meme that said, ‘I'm no longer an expert on Ukraine because now I'm an expert about Israel,’ which I thought was incredibly accurate,” he continued. “I have no doubt that many of the people who have been vocal about these issues could find these places on a map. But everything that I've suggested so far still requires some awareness and insight which has become a rare and precious commodity these days. We first have to ask people to look at themselves, honestly, in the mirror.”

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#19

Will Anyone Finally Date This Intellectual?

Will Anyone Finally Date This Intellectual?

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#21

"Silly Woman, You Can't Use Mathematical Terms Figuratively!"

"Silly Woman, You Can't Use Mathematical Terms Figuratively!"

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Lauren S
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Am I silly that exponentially makes perfect sense to me? It’s not a 1:1 relationship like 5 more girls than boys… it’s like five times the amount of girls than boys…which isn’t even, gosh idk. I realize I sound like these douches but my little brain has been out of school too long. How about I end with her phrase provides a more accurate picture of the discrepancy. Nah… still douchey… sorry!

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Scott also wants people to accept that it's okay to not know everything. “It's okay to say you don't know, and it's okay to shut up and listen to those who know about it,” he shared. “It's okay to yield to the experts. It doesn't make you less of a person. In fact, admitting that you don't know and you're there to listen and learn is the real strength and the real virtue.”

“The bottom line piece of advice is simply this: For people to practice their own awareness and be honest with themselves,” the therapist noted. “Become more conscious and more aware of your actions, don't just mindlessly do whatever and don't just follow any and every impulse that pops up. Learn how to be more intentional and deliberate about your actions and learn to ask yourself the hard questions. ‘Am I one of those people? Should I take a step back here? Do I really know what I'm talking about?’”

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#22

Me Just Trying To Help A Customer On Our Website Chat Today

Me Just Trying To Help A Customer On Our Website Chat Today

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“Intelligence doesn't mean that you know everything. In fact, the most intelligent people that I've known have realized that they know next to nothing and aren't afraid to admit it,” Scott added. “Now that's being smart. The smartest people are also the people who exercise their awareness. Being aware of one's own actions is a sign of true intelligence. A truly intelligent person freely admits when they don't know something.”

#25

Guy Talking About His Experience With Women

Guy Talking About His Experience With Women

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lfc73
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think, perhaps, if you were to be a bit less of a phantom-snob, and simply enjoyed talking to someone about these fascinating facts, you may have more luck. Instead of being a brash, faux erudite, simply be curious, and respectful about others' experiences. Also, don't be a wanker. It's common sense & common decency, really.

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#27

Good In Math = Better Human

Good In Math = Better Human

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Bookworm
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow. It takes... something to claim to be a nonhuman superior being.

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Are you feeling much smarter after scrolling through this list, pandas? Even if you don’t know much more than these people, at least you know not to broadcast your stupidity online! Keep upvoting the pics that give you secondhand embarrassment, and then if you’re interested in checking out even more photos from I Am Very Smart, you can find Bored Panda’s last article featuring the group right here!

#28

He Was Saying That Women Inherently Had Lower IQs And This Was His Response To Me Calling IQ Tests Pseudoscience

He Was Saying That Women Inherently Had Lower IQs And This Was His Response To Me Calling IQ Tests Pseudoscience

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#30

Even Plugged The Autobiography

Even Plugged The Autobiography

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Phoenix
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You lazy people. Why don't you just get your daddy to pay for college like I did? /s

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#31

Pretty Sure Most People Got The Reference...

Pretty Sure Most People Got The Reference...

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#32

This Guy Definitely Thinks He’s Will Graham (Hannibal)

This Guy Definitely Thinks He’s Will Graham (Hannibal)

HueyLewisNo1Fan Report

#33

Trying To Appear Smart By Being A D**k To His Mom On FB

Trying To Appear Smart By Being A D**k To His Mom On FB

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#35

Enjoying Music Is For Stupid People

Enjoying Music Is For Stupid People

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#37

"I Am The Smartest Person I Know Of"

"I Am The Smartest Person I Know Of"

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Phoenix
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or, and hear me out here, maybe giving babies caffeine makes them become delusional and have a false sense of intelligence. Who knows. Maybe some scientist could study it.

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#38

Xray Vision

Xray Vision

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#39

King Ashurbanipal Of Assyria (685 Bc - 631 Bc)

King Ashurbanipal Of Assyria (685 Bc - 631 Bc)

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#40

Not Just A Genius But A Model As Well

Not Just A Genius But A Model As Well

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#42

On A Meme About Getting Better Grades On Online Tests

On A Meme About Getting Better Grades On Online Tests

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#43

“I Realised How Much Of A Nerd I Am”

“I Realised How Much Of A Nerd I Am”

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#44

Looks Like He Didn't Understand The Assignment

Looks Like He Didn't Understand The Assignment

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#45

On A Reel About Einstein Blah Blah Blah

On A Reel About Einstein Blah Blah Blah

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Roxy222uk
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Being 14 is hard and brings out the d.i.c.k. in many, so I am willing to let that slide for now (I believe a lot of people don't realise the d.i.c.k.ish things they did as a teenager, because of the lack of a big picture at that age). However it is very much something people should grow out of.

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#46

This Quora 13 Year Old

This Quora 13 Year Old

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Lauren S
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

IQ tests are biased based on what you’re exposed to in different socioeconomic statuses, cultures, urban vs rural, etc. People can be intelligent in so many different ways and intelligence has less to do with success than something like hard work.

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#47

Wish Him Good Luck Guys

Wish Him Good Luck Guys

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#48

Better Remind Everyone Of My Phd On A Video That Visualizes The Pythagorean Theorem

Better Remind Everyone Of My Phd On A Video That Visualizes The Pythagorean Theorem

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#49

Tired Of The Cycles Of Life

Tired Of The Cycles Of Life

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#50

Someone Has Figured Out Pretty Privilege

Someone Has Figured Out Pretty Privilege

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Note: this post originally had 67 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.