This week, we discuss the history of the Internet, including its birth and development. In this entry, I want to narrow the topic and focus on how social media, one of the significant developments of the Internet, creates the Online Insult Culture.
Have you ever burst into tears reading comments on your Facebook?
Have you ever want to kill the guy that call you a b*tch but you don’t know who he/she is because they use a fake account?
Or how did Hillary feel when she read this?
Bekah Grant, a former writer at VentureBeat, confessed that one day, her mother read a comment calling Bekah a ‘moron’ and she was really upset. Bekah and her colleagues are so scared of “mean, unproductive, and demoralizing” comments from readers that they have to avoid reading them. Finally, Bekah quit her job at VentureBeat because she couldn’t stand it anymore.
What happened with the Internet?
Nowadays, the Internet has a new ability to release our darkest side. Many people treat social media as channels to unleash their hidden loathing of humanity.
In his article, Paul Blanchard argues that social media lets us insult to a wider audience. It bores to sit in your room yelling alone. Now people have tools to immediately show their frustration to a vast audience who would laugh, like, share their insults or even insult them back.
We don’t have to worry anything when insulting people on social media. Anonymity, invisibility and lack of authority turn social media into insult heaven. Psychologists call this the “online disinhibition effect”.
A Pew Research Center survey published in 2014 found that 70% of 18-to-24-year-olds Internet users had experienced harassment.
In 2010, 13-year-old Hope Sitwell hanged herself because she couldn’t stand the online insults after a compromising picture of hers that she “sexted” to her boyfriend was shared.
On September 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He found from his room mate’s Twitter feed that he had become “a topic of ridicule” after people had known that he was gay.
And if you are still confused about the Insult Culture created by social media, watch the movie “Friend request”. It will tell you how insult on social media can kill a person.
We have enjoyed numerous benefits from the evolution of the Internet since its very first beginning. However, we can’t deny how the internet and social media is ruining our life.
Stop letting the Online Insult Culture killing our soul!