Vitriol has been around since the dawn of civilization.
But with the advent and ensuing ubiquity of the Internet, its pervasiveness increased to unforetold levels.
From bullying that occurred in early chat rooms to modern day tweet storms condemning views opposite our own, bitterness abounds.
I no longer look forward to randomly surfing the Internet as I did during the web’s halcyon days.
Social media has devolved into a pretty unsocial state.
There are signs of a positive backlash that I’ve observed recently, though.
Since I no longer check my Facebook feed (much), I’m overall more content than when I had the app on my phone and checked it at least once a day.
What is the gauge for measuring contentedness?
It is just a general state of feeling. My hands are more relaxed and since my hands are more relaxed my mind is also calmer.
Since I’m a one-handed/one thumbed phone keyboard inputter, it’s enough to type on the full-sized keyboard attached to my desktop computer. Texting and messaging on the phone by thumb is cumbersome for me. I know there is the voice command awaiting. But, I’m holding out on that one as much as possible.
When I start using the phone for transmitting sentences, thoughts or statements instead of having a conversation with a human being, that is when the medium has (for me) most definitely crossed over into the characteristics of unsocial media.
When I most recently checked my Facebook feed, I read several status updates where friends were imploring other friends to tone down the acidic nature of their posts.
The chances of Facebook’s becoming a bastion of peace and love any time soon, however, are slim and none.
After all, Facebook’s patrons are humans who strangely share the commonality of being dissatisfied with their lives to higher degrees than they should be.
Yes, there are a lot of problems. Nothing is perfect. But, we are living in a time of unprecedented agricultural advancements, an abundance of raw materials, and augmented reality/artificial intelligence evolution, that while scary to some, is indisputably transforming lives for the better.
Since we have all of this working for us and should be using it to our advantage, it is more than odd to me that our collective choice is to make the Internet a hostile environment both for work and play.
Hate is a strong emotion. It is an extension of unchecked anger left uncontrolled.
It’s hard to contain ourselves when we feel so strongly.
But, if the negative emotion that is hate is going to be behind the unhealthy discourse you feel compelled to engage in with 140 not-so-well-thought-out characters (to the audience on the other side of your computer monitor), you’re best served to type, say or post nothing. Zero. Zilch. Absolutely nada.
We can choose to use tools at our disposal more wisely.
But, we have to stop engaging so much.
Leave it alone.
Something somebody posted pissed you off. You thought they were on your side or thought like you did. You’re very disappointed in their views. But, to consider no longer being friends over it is irrational supposition.
Maybe not saying anything when you’re fired up is an overly simplistic notion to propose for all that ails the Internet and social media; or, maybe posting something along the order of what you’d like to see from your Facebook friends regarding subject matter that is constructive, productive and well thought out, is.
Simplicity, though, may in the end provide the best, least complicated return to beauty on the web and world at large.
And I’m rooting for it.
Because it’s apparent we’re over the ugliness and misery Internet vitriol has wrought.