Angry Little Internet People

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When I was younger I used to get very invested in how other thought. Whenever I’d enter the world of the internet and see an opinion I’d disagree with, I’d simply get angry. I’d pile on with the rest of the world. I’d be outraged and feel good about it.

And I didn’t think this behaviour was in any way bizarre because it was so normalised – everyone was doing it. A lot of people still do it. In many circles, it’s even encouraged, celebrated. You’re doing ‘the good work’ if you’re constantly angry online.

But think about how messed up that is. To spend portions of your day choosing to be angry. Going out of your way to purposefully bring negative energy into the world. I used to do it too, but it was never framed as a toxic thing. It was just something everyone did. But when I think about it, I realise how messed up it is that we encourage this behaviour. Maybe not encourage, but we tolerate it. We let it happen. We accept that leading with anger is okay.

This week I’ve just been reflecting on that I guess. A lot of people in this space, and in the activism space tend to behave like this. They shout at people, name-call, talk with an air of self-righteousness. And it all feels about gross, performative, egoic. Sound people don’t talk to other people the way they do, be it in person or online.

I don’t care if you’re behaving like this in the name of a good cause. Fair play for standing up for people who don’t have a voice. I respect the hell out of that. But you can do it, I think, without being a prick.

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