dear big internet, why so negative
There's a question that I ask myself very frequently, which sounds somewhat like this: "What on Earth did the Internet do to people to make them so full of their negative opinions?"
And like, don't get me wrong, opinions are cool, and people are allowed to dislike things (stars know I have a lot of those), but I feel like for years it's been, you know. Say, you see a movie and you didn't like it. You can tell your friends and family that the movie was trash in your opinion. Maybe your movie club if you attend one. If your colleague at work mentions said movie, that may be an opportunity for a discussion, too.
On the other hand, though, if your colleague or your friend is excited to see that movie or liked it already, and instead of having a discussion and seeing their point of view or simply agreeing to disagree you loudly proclaim that their opinion is invalid because you said so... You're probably going to look like a major ass, aren't you.
So then why is that every time I happen to open comments under a thing I like, I seem to immediately see like ten people foaming at the mouth about how the thing I like is bad (and not for any actual legit reasons either)? What makes people to comment under art that they personally find the style revolting? Why must one's personal dislike of a video-game be translated everywhere while claiming that everyone who liked it is apparently stupid? How much audacity must one have to try and contact a showrunner just to let them know they personally hated their show (and where do I get at least half of that confidence)?
I've tried asking people like that - "Why do you feel the need to publicly voice a negative opinion and aim it at the creator when you could just move on and look for something more suitable for you? Maybe written a contained Letterbox review or smth, a blog post, idk, but why this?" And they always say:"Because they put it on the Internet and therefore asked for my opinion" if it's a small creator and "Well I'm a viewer/reader and I'm doing them a favor by consuming their content therefore it must be catered to me personally" if the creator is big... And I frankly don't understand any of those viewpoints! They just sound so self-centered... And unnecessarily mean? Boo-hoo, you made a person on the Net feel bad about a thing they did or even themselves (appearance comments are just as bad tbh...), nothing changed because of that, great job.
Don't even let me start on the fact that clearly negativity sells these days, so every YouTube creator trips over themselves to film a video on how bad a movie/a game/a song/a character is... Just for the hype train. Well, not every, there's a lot of nice folk on there, actually, but there are enough to be tiring. Being a critic is a job, yes, but critic reviews usually have their own spaces where you go if you want their opinion, not vice versa.
I dunno, I personally think that there's too much life to live and good to be done to waste it all away by being rude and mean and critical to strangers on the Internet. Or by simply giving so much of your energy to something you didn't even like! Those folks need to stop eating a cactus.
Okay, enough of me venting. ~bartender? The next round is on me. Let's spread some positivity instead.
May we all have as much free time and energy as those people spamming posts and comments for days and even years about a thing that doesn't even bring them joy! And may we spend them on more pleasant things.
(p.s. yah I know it's partly my own fault for spending quite a lot of time on YT, but I come looking for other, better things and the cursed algorithm immediately shows me some crap, sigh)
I think the platforms people use are also partially to blame. I’ve noticed that if I go on any political post on Twitter, regardless of whose side it was on, you will always, without fail, see replies of people who disagree with them.
It seems negativity creates engagement, more engagement means more ads shown to them, more ads means more money.
I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence, but since I stopped using social media, I’ve been a lot less aggressive towards people who disagree with me or don’t know or understand something I do, and notice many are very quick to insult me during an argument or get angry over the smallest things.
Twitter is definitely the worst one in that regard. Somehow the climate of it all just cultivates arguments, and the algorithms boosting tweets without knowledge of the user only add to it.
Altho it has to be said that previously the most notoriously toxic platform in that regard used to be Tumblr (which imo got much better nowadays, but not completely without conflict of course), and that site used to have no algorithm and no marketability, so that's not the only thing.
I have to admit that I'm guilty; I'm now recalling that at a certain stage in my life I processed my own anger issues by going onto the internet and purposefully seeking arguments (joining in rather than starting them, I never fell as low as outright trolling), and I have to say, it's addictive. At some point I had to unlearn it and physically stop myself from engaging.
I won't be surprised if that's also true for some of those people, and the way social media does encourage such behavior just fuels them.
That being said, I still have to wonder, just HOW bad it has to be for some people to go out of their way to be constantly aggressive or spend literal years spreading negativity about a thing they didn't like... I suppose I answered my own question at this point - it's addictive, it's encouraged and it also gives one a sense of superiority over the "incorrect" ones they're "destroying with arguments".
I still have the urge to ask a rethorical WHY though, 'cause boy, is that a terrible mindset to live in!
(I deleted my twitter some time ago, and the relief is palpable.)
Good afternoon ~rusty, I don't understand this either.
Two puzzle pieces I believe to have identified:
- "stranger" on the internet --- the distance is just too big. I'm certain that a lot would not be voiced if standing in front of the other person in real life.
- "what I/you/we consider normal" seems to be a really narrow band. For example: It seems to be much simpler to diagnose a teenager with some fancy syndrome rather than stand the seemingly unbounded energy, the kind of multitasking (doing one thing and discussing another simultaneously), the fast hopping of items and ideas all within 5 minutes. I teach archery to interested folks, and teenagers are very interesting. They constantly test their and my limits. But yelling at them "don't do this and that" is often a bad idea. Practice alternative behaviour is more convincing imho.
There is more, like the feedback loop amplifying negativity, because it creates more online time. Good news are just too boring? But why then is a therapist asking for "one good thing worth mentioning today"? It seems to be much harder to see all the things that just work, that we take for granted but are not. Example: I am very grateful for the train/bus drivers every morning, because they started their shift such that I can commute to work. So I say "Good morning!" to the driver, when I enter the bus.
~bartender? It's so hot, I'd like to have a cold coffee with ice cream. A float of sorts, just not wth root beer if you can help it :-) Ah, and out in the garden, please. So I walk out the door. ~inquiry had a teaching job as well, didn't he? He was speaking about it, iirc. It's a lot of work to show others the world, and possible paths.
Which reminds me: We had a teenage girl at work place, just out of high school. She wanted to look into a technical job/study area. We showed her a lot of things. She was very humble about "not knowing" all this stuff. I told her, she will learn it if needed, no one knows this stuff without spending considerable time. Then she went to see the world. And I managed to convince her to really use this time /now/ and not fall into the trap, that she could come back later. :-) Good news.
Cheers to the curious youngsters traveling the planet to actually see for themselves, that things can be done differently.
> So then why is that every time I happen
> to open comments under a thing I like,
> I seem to immediately see like ten
> people foaming at the mouth about how
> the thing I like is bad (and not for
> any actual legit reasons either)? What
> makes people ... revolting? Why must
> one's personal dislike...? How much
> audacity must one have to...?
I believe you answered your questions here:
> ... self-centered...
Yep, self-centered and even fomented egoism