The Rise of Negativity

This is a summary of something I’ve been meaning to write for a long time (hopefully I’ll be able to revisit it in the future and add more detail/structure):

  • Don’t be an asshole (this will be a recurring theme).
  • Snark is unnecessary. The internet has seemingly made it ok to be angry for no reason (“No shit, what the fuck do you think” as a reply to someone asking a question), and it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not making myself out to be all high and mighty; I used to be like that, but there’s honestly no justification for it anymore.
  • On a related note, there’s too much negativity. Everything is a huge deal, everything warrants a complaint. People spend ten times as much effort telling you why they’re pissed off than they do telling you about something truly great in their lives. Sometimes I get happy and I just wanna tell everyone and share the joy. Why is it more fun to bitch? It’s 2014, the time to be a Maddox-clone has long since passed.
  • (I realize the irony as I sit here writing this) When you have a problem with an issue or you’re truly offended by it, getting on tumblr (or whatever avenue you use to share your thoughts) is pretty pointless. You’ll spend hours typing a gigantic dissertation that explains why ____ is a huge problem and how no one else seems to get it but you. Then you’ll get likes/reblogs/comments/kudos/etc from followers/people that feel the same way, and then everyone is patting themselves on the back. But in the end, what was accomplished? You essentially walked into a room of people that already agree with you, made a statement that was generally applauded, and felt good about yourself? You didn’t succeed in reaching your target audience (i.e., the parties responsible for the actual problem), and they probably have no idea that you went to such efforts. If you truly have a problem with something, get out there and actually make an effort to change it. There’s no sense in getting together with a crowd just so you can all complain about the same thing and agree with each other.
  • Guilt is a pretty big thing now, especially on the internet. I’ve “learned” about so many issues with the world that I wasn’t previously aware of. And then I was told that I should feel guilty. Guilty about my ignorance, guilty about my existence, guilty because if I’m not 100% with you then I’m against you and a horrible person. That’s a pretty shitty way to make a change and get someone to listen to you. Not every situation is black and white, and it’s pretty stupid to only see the world in absolutes. Honestly it reminds me of religion…you take something “normal” that most people don’t really give a second thought, tell them that it’s awful and how dare they not know the truth about ______. There’s no room for discussion, no arguments, no “well what about____” counterpoints. It’s wrong, and you’re wrong for having a different point of view. I’m told that despite my actual intentions when I say or do something (which I will understand better than anyone else ever could), I’ve actually got some subconscious malicious intent. So is free will nonexistent now? Why say or do anything if the meanings have already been pre-determined? We can all just wear stickers saying “Hi my name is ____ and I’m a _____” to save time and eliminate all those pesky “conversations” we all used to have. When there are people on both sides of a room yelling radical statements back and forth at each other, why would I be inclined to side with either one? Even if I agreed with your message, your over-the-top method of delivery is likely enough to push me away.
  • And to that, labels. Everything must be labeled and categorized, even if we have to make up new labels and combinations. The same folks complaining about being forced into roles and categories are the ones that have to immediately define something and put it in a box. “No, you’re ____. I don’t care what you think, you’re <b>wrong</b>, you’re _____, and that’s final.”
  • Most of this is just rehashing the same thing. Why the hostility, why the negativity. People can’t even have discussions without having them dissolve into full-on arguments. Let’s throw out some threats of bodily harm and insult a person’s intelligence/character because of a few words on the internet. Let’s claim we’re pro-peace and harmony while spewing some really vile shit and generalizing everything to falsely strengthen our arguments. The asshole has become the norm, and empathy and logic are endangered species. It’s an asshole’s world and unfortunately they’re growing in size.
  • This seems like the rant of an old man that doesn’t get the world anymore, and maybe it is. I look at things logically, and logic doesn’t really seem to apply anymore. I have no idea what’s going on or why, but I really really hope it’s not too late to undo some of this.
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