Where is the line with you? At what point do you feel free enough to unleash internet rage unto others? Does your aggression on the internet lead to an increased sense of inhibition in the real world?
An old study out of the University of Illinois asserts that there is no link between video game violence and real world expression of harm unto others. Dmitri Williams and his team found that little violence from the game-world of his subjects translated to phenomenal reality.
But is this true for a social media platform like Facebook?
See, I love to get revved up by religious and political argument. In fact, I like to get downright nasty. I think it’s a great thing to do. Why? It has to do with a little thing called ‘performance under pressure.’
When someone really gets on my internet-nerves, I like to employ sarcastic wit, a little googling here or there to clarify what the hell they might be talking about and what I might miss if I replied too quickly, etc. But where is the line for downright nasty berating? Does it have a place?
I think it does.
Sometimes, we need to just let our hair down, say f*ck it, and let our fingers fly. Frankly, not everyone is altogether up to date on this whole internet thing anyway, so our sudden jolts and volleys against newb social media posts might be just the thing to get the ‘ol hotkey vocabulary working (i.e., how to switch to a new window real quick to look up what in the hell a hotkey is for instance).
Come to find out, being angry on the internet can really help with fundamental computing skills. Faster typing. Check. Application multitasking. Check. Sheer adrenal thrill. Check and double check.
I’ve seen some weird things go on with Facebook posts. People will take a screenshot (command+shift+3 or some unknown F-key for poor windows folks), highlight certain comments they find hilarious, offensive, perverse, etc., and then either censor the name of the poster or wholly target them by magnifying the user’s name. Wow. Creative. Then what? They post this as a new picture filled with commentary and more crap a human with any degree of time management skills could sanely deal with.
Another shortcut to the Hatebook/Fecesbook posts-of-pure-irony-statuship is the meme. It is an image with (usually) white text above and below some picture indicating something should be understood. Example:
This is the raving lunatic from the Ancient Aliens TV show. He invariably resorts to implications that everything of ancient history and mythology has something to do with the Ancient Alien Theory which presupposes that all human advancement somehow directly correlates to extraterrestrials. Erich von Däniken, David Icke, and others have made careers around this idea that we both owe our current status as intelligent beings to aliens and should somehow fear them.
Perfect example. Within the evolving technologies of online hate, we owe it to some higher being to grant us insight into what it is we’ve probably spent too much time trying to understand. Into Nascar? You are probably a redneck who can be criticized for beating up your girlfriend, drinking beer at 7 am., etc. Want to have a deep intellectual discussion about the origin of religion? Let’s do that. Only so long as you have enough time to take flack from someone who learned English semantics from spellcheck abuse and careful editing.
Basically it comes down to this: do not resist the temptation to annihilate others through internet speech in a meaningless way. You are not a troll. You are something higher. You have a purpose. And the other person should get the point too. But what is left over if you’ve conquered a whole empire of lesser-ones?
At one point, God got bored (See: The Book of Genesis) floating on his space turtle (see: Hindu Mythology) and separated Gods from Men based on the acquisition of fire (See: Prometheus). Then, Hubbard created the E-Meter (See: Dianetics) to lead to an auditing process of the individual (See: a therapist). What we’ve carried with us inside, about every belief or theory we’ve ever given credence, can be recreated for the enjoyment of others on the internet. Inevitably, someone will become angry, hunched over their console, dripping snot onto their keyboard, experiencing what their doctors warned would be a definite case of tennis elbow.
Whew. What a relief. At least I got out that last quip before they could over-post against me.
[ding: new notification]
Son of a bitch. Right when I was going to get some housework done…
Oh well. Few wars were ever won in a day.
-Nathan H. Fox