Internet of Stings

I’ll be 100% honest that sometimes I really contemplate whether or not I should write a blog or talk about a certain issue because of the blow back I’ll get. I consider myself a pretty outspoken person or at least I once was, meaning I would just say what came to mind and not really give a damn what people thought. It’s still true today I supposed, but to a lesser extent.

By no means am I a professional blogger. I do this as a sort of hobby and I’ll be lucky if seven people actually read this blog entry. Maybe I’ve mellowed out a bit. Maybe I don’t have time. Or maybe I’ve learned that people can just be really fucking vicious to others for no particularly good reason, and I’m not particularly fond of being on the receiving end of the viciousness.

It’s almost as if certain people get off on making it known that “I think you’re a total idiot and let me tell you why!” Their lives revolve around shooting other people down when they get that cloud 9 going. Take the scenic route of any article on any media outlet website and direct yourself to the comments section. Find some political post your friend posted on Facebook and look at the comments. You want to see hate? The shit people say to each other in the comments section of the internet is pure horror. It doesn’t seem to matter the subject either. Politics and religion are bound to brew up some good old fashioned shit storms. Sports too. But it seems as if everything is such a controversy. Go to a hiking website, a medical website, a work out website, a diet forum, pick a card any card.

The internet isn’t some abstract thing. It’s literally just a bunch of computers tied together and the shit people say online is just the same crazy shit they think to themselves. It just makes it easier for them to spread their thoughts to more people, over a wider area than they could do by say… posting fliers at the local bus stop.

There is something very peculiar about the internet and the way people behave on it though. I feel like in real life (ie, when not staring at a screen) almost any two people can get along. I feel like online, any two people can become the worst versions of themselves and verbally rip each other to pieces. Interestingly it’s not the viewpoints that surprise me (though, admittedly some people do think and say some crazzzzzzzy stuff), but rather how quickly a civil conversation and devolve into a verbal pissing match.

Headline reads “Man Loses Hand in Garbage Disposal” and just give it a few minutes for someone to say “what an idiot, he must have voted for ______” even though it’s not remotely political. And they’re off! Before you know it, people are being the worst of themselves, spending hours and hours of their finite lives trying to verbally skewer their online (and often unknown) opponent.

I’m not saying the internet invented stupidity or rudeness, or that it even amplifies it. The internet just exposed the stupidity, incivility, and vanity that already exists in all of us. This isn’t even so much a blog about the internet, as much as it is how my blogging and internet surfing experiences have led me to see just how much hostility people harbor towards others in general.

Everything is quick to become an us-v-them situation. Whites vs blacks. Democrats vs Republicans. Football vs soccer. Rich vs poor. My team vs your team. My preference vs your preference. God forbid you enjoy different food than I do, fucker. I really do love people. I pity them. And to an extent I fear them. But I love them. And again, I feel like any two people, two individuals, can get along. But man, when we’re in groups, we can be monsters. There’s some kind of inverse correlation between the combined IQ of the members of a group, and their exhibited intelligence.

We’re so quick to hate each other. To insult each other. To name call, belittle, and argue with each other. We just have to get our jabs in. Leave no disagreeable opinion unopposed. We’ll tear into a complete stranger. Worse… we’ll tear into someone we know and care about. This isn’t directed at any one specifically. Observe and report, and this was just the inevitable reporting byproduct of years of observing. All the calamity in the news and on social media lately prompted this. The hostility at one point veering me away from having an online presence as I know it has for others. I was very surprised that following some of my recent posts, a good number of friends privately messaged me with their thoughts and input (all civil, thank you!) perhaps because they didn’t want to get tangled up in the online brawl that happens all too often.

I don’t have a proposal. I don’t have a point I’m slowly working towards. No moral to the story. I don’t have a goal for writing this other than to vent my frustrations. A long winded sigh of relief, in a sense.

I know I don’t write as frequently as I should, and my writing aint exactly Oscar Wilde, so give yourself a nice pat on the back if you’ve read this far. Thank you for hearing me out and thank you for continuing to read my blog. And for the occasional verbal spar.

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