I remember people having disagreements in the past. Lots of them. People disagreed about musical tastes, who was the best athlete, even morals. But people didn't hate each other for it. They usually didn't brood about it afterwards and grow deeper and deeper in their anger over something that may or may not have been worth even arguing about.
So that begs the question: How in the world did we degenerate into this ridiculous flaming pile of hate excrement that we've come to see these days?
A big player is social media. Now hear me out. Social media didn't directly cause Charlottesville. This is all one giant puzzle with many pieces, but social media can be a very large piece in the grand scheme of things. I don't hate technology. I'm an IT guy and so that's my bread and butter. But any technology is always a double edged sword. Let's look at this a little deeper for a second.
1.) We get no time to breathe
Let's say you disagreed with someone before social media. Chances are you'd have an initial spat, followed by separation and a cooling period. Now there is no cooling period. Now you go and check out social media and are immediately confronted with something else that person said that offends you or another person who might agree with them. This makes you even angrier and decreases the chances of a cooling period and rational thought.
2.) Information Overload
Nowadays you can be in the best mood and having a great day when all of a sudden BOOM you run across some RUDE person on your Twitter feed. Now your day is ruined.
Even if you don't run across something offensive, the sheer volume of information that we bombard ourselves with is enough to drive any normal person insane. Our brains are faced with useless information and the stuff that really matters hangs on precariously by its fingernails on the edges.
Let's face it, these days it's really easy to be courageous and make outrageous statements from the safety of a keyboard. This enables the user to feel confident enough to say literally whatever they want to say, no matter how untrue or inflammatory it might be, without fear of real consequences (mostly).
4.) The need to respond to trolls
No matter how much you know that you shouldn't, you always feel like you've gotta set trolls straight. I think it's human nature to want to correct wrongs and fight perceived injustices, but with trolls you're wasting your time. Are they right to troll? Absolutely not, but sometimes responding to them sometimes just legitimizes their statements in their eyes.
5.) It gives idiots a voice, and boy are they LOUD
Again, I don't mean this to sound like they shouldn't have a voice. They should have the same voice as everyone else, but unfortunately it seems like the more ridiculous the opinion, the more they post. Additionally, it is also unfortunate but true that ridiculous posts get a ton of likes and shares…once again, legitimizing their opinions in their eyes.
Like I said at the beginning, I love technology (cue Kip Dynamite wedding music), but unfortunately it's misuse can lead to bad things. Instead of using social media to promote division, why don't we use it to promote objectivity and unity!
At the very least, let's not be jerks to one another 🙂👍🏼