Am I angry because of the Internet?
Brian Fung at the Washington Post published an article stating that the Internet isn't making us dumb, it's making us angry.
Which doesn't make me angry per se, but it definitely makes me think of the stuff I say and do online, and how it makes me feel afterward.
From the article:
In a study of 70 million posts on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, Rui Fan and a team of others at Beihan University tracked the spread of joy, sadness, anger and disgust across the social network. According to the MIT Technology Review, they found that angry tweets were far more likely to be retweeted by others — or be the subject of angry responses — up to three degrees away from the original user.
Maybe things are different in China but if you tweet a bunch of negative shit you're getting an unfollow from me.
I don't think that it's the internet is making us angrier, it's that it gives generally negative people a soapbox to broadcast their negativity to everyone else, specifically when it comes to sites like 4chan, Reddit and etc where you have a fairly large degree of anonymity and because of that are able to to disregard regular social conventions and straight-up be a jerk to people.
That kind of behaviour and the negative tweets Fung refers to in his article aren't the products of the Internet, these people would be just as negative, destructive, horrible, disgusting, and whatnot regardless of whether or not the Internet existed. Their bad qualities would simply manifest themselves in a different way.
The one thing that the article neglects to mention is the fact that, before now, we didn't have a global public forum to express ourselves and there was no global public record of it before now.
We can't go back in time and see a timeline of what millions of peasants in the Dark Ages had to say. Though I'm sure it would sound something like this: