Continuing on my topic of social media potentially being more damaging to society than porn. I now want to focus on Anger and our interactions with people (usually strangers).
If you have any sort of following on Twitter of Facebook, and you post anything other than cat or baby pictures i’m sure you’ll have received some level of abuse. At the lower end if may have just been a friend calling you an idiot, but at more sinister end of the spectrum you can have hundreds or even thousands of people calling you every name under the sun, threatening your life, and posting your personal details online allowing the hatred to spread into the real world.
If a right leaning politician posts a comment on a local issue, you can be sure he or she will be called a racist / a nazi / part of the patriarchy / a one percent er etc etc by the nicer trolls out there. In today’s society the same is true when comments are made by Feminist scholar Christina Sommers or Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro post fairly reasonable arguments which should be debated.
The worrying thing about this online hatred so many of us are spreading, is that half the time the person doesn’t even need to write the comment themselves, they just have to be accused of making a comment by a virtue signaler, and before you know it the bandwagons have been jumped on, and this person is desperately trying to defend the name and save their career.
Take for example the outrage shown by your parents/ grand-parents when they share the fake posts warning you that “Facebook is going to start charging for its service unless you share this message”. Or the protests in America which were organised by Russian trolls. Both are examples of online information that people have taken at face value, and have caused mild annoyance in one case, and orchestrated violence in another, simply because people are taking what they see online at face value if it fits their agenda.
Now if a friend has said to you in the pub that Facebook is going to start charging, you’d ask to see their evidence, but read about in a tweet from a stranger and it suddenly becomes the gospel truth.
It feels like people are so eager to take offence, and so eager to virtual signal, that they are sat by their computers / phones just waiting for that next piece of news to get them all riled up, and give them something to rant about. Heck, from some of the comments I read on Twitter I can only assume I am doing it wrong, by following people I find interesting, instead of following people I know say things I disagree with, who I can then heckle behind the safety of my computer / phone.
So my current view-point is this. Instead of trawling through social media posts and news content looking for the next thing to offend you, so that you can make someone else feel bad by ranting at them, or make yourself feel good, by having other virtue signalers tell you how brave you are to be offended by some writing. How about you follow in the foot steps of Boyan Slat the young inventor who saw a problem with plastic pollution of the worlds oceans and focused his time and energy on developing a solution. You’ll find life that much more fulfilling if you go out and look for solutions to the problems you identify, as opposed to ranting at the people who disagree with you.