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Discussion Why can we be so mean online?

It’s easier to just type whatever comes to your mind on the internet than it is to say it in real life. 99% of the time, if you see something mean online, the person would absolutely not say it in real life, if only because it would not be easy for them.

Also I love that whenever this topic is brought up, violence is almost immediately mentioned. No, if someone was mean to you in real life you wouldn’t just deck them right then and there. No, if someone annoys you, you aren’t going to put your hands on them. That goes alongside what I said above, it’s easy for you to say you’d punch someone in the face for being mean to you, but you wouldn’t actually do it.
 
It’s easier to just type whatever comes to your mind on the internet than it is to say it in real life. 99% of the time, if you see something mean online, the person would absolutely not say it in real life, if only because it would not be easy for them.

Also I love that whenever this topic is brought up, violence is almost immediately mentioned. No, if someone was mean to you in real life you wouldn’t just deck them right then and there. No, if someone annoys you, you aren’t going to put your hands on them. That goes alongside what I said above, it’s easy for you to say you’d punch someone in the face for being mean to you, but you wouldn’t actually do it.
Nobody wants to admit 'People say things on here that IRL would make me clam up, go home, and cry in bed.'
 
Because people are a mess at times and want to get negative energy of their chest
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Because lack of immediate consequences, ability to curate a social circle of like-minded people, and algorithms that feed on negativity. Lack of consequences need not be physical/corporeal; people giving awkward looks when making a scene can sometimes be more powerful than a slap to the face. Which leads to the fact the people whose reactions you see tend to be a social circle of link-minded people (see the now infinite examples of Muskrat listening to his fans to enable his worst impulses, etc.). The last one is more systematic, but algorithms feed off negativity so will push that more.

The solution isn't necessarily the negation of each of these factors. The ability to escape social stigma, for example, does wonders when you want to create a space of marginalized folks. Like, there's a reason I feel zero qualms about wearing a rainbowified avatar online but not as comfortable as wearing a rainbow band when out in public, e.g..
 
Probably Because the lack of "usual" social relationship disturbs our brain and messes with the "empathy" part.
 
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one big factor is that a lot of the internet rewards engagement, so negative/mean takes are amplified since they cause more people to argue and engage, and more cynically, on many sites this drives ad revenue. So there's a genuine argument to be made that it's in the internet's best interest to keep people mad and in constant pissing matches with one another, because that makes them more likely to spend more time online viewing ads

It sucks. I yearn for a more empathetic, nuanced discourse online where people always try to seek mutual understanding. It's the sphere I spend the most time in, but I have found most gaming communities to be really bad at this. People are often so aggressive and rude with their opinions. If you like something they don't like, they can't just say "I don't see the value you do in it". It's always "this is trash lmfaooo, who would like this shit". Yes, this can also be a problem with people who get aggressively angry about defending things they like; it's just not something I see as often.

I don't know if violence is worth mentioning beyond like, an anthropological perspective. To many of us this idea sounds foreign, but it's not that weird in human societies, historically speaking, for random fights and violence to break out when people say mean shit. Or like, if we consider what kind of rancid behavior is extremely common online-- death threats, slurs, overt prejudices-- these things still sometimes are totally met with physical violence in modern societies (I'm not saying they should be, but that they are). But even without that element, the social consequences that can come from being a total fucko (like being isolated from a group of people or losing job/social opportunities) are a real deterrent IRL that don't exist online. If you get ousted from one group online, you can find another, and it's extremely easy to find hate groups who will just encourage the shit you do to begin with.

Anyway, I think it would be totally cool if everyone on the internet could just be like, 10% more chill
 
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I really wonder sometimes how many people I have reasonable discussions in real life, actually have some social media presence to just be mean to other people.
 
there's a human catharsis, however short-lived it is, to releasing anger. anonymity i think is part of it but i don't think that's as big a part of it as it used to be. using examples i've seen today, there are dudes who will take the worst photo of themselves and put it as their pfp and have the audacity to leave a comment on someone like Alanah Pierce's instagram saying that she's hideous or MissClick's twitter saying she made a huge mistake having a kid because she'll get stretch marks. as the appropriately-named-for-this-discussion @Sadist said,

Because people are a mess at times and want to get negative energy of their chest

i think it all stems from this after a while. there's an empowerment to just unleashing a really negative part of themselves without your body tapping into it's natural cowardly defenses as it would in an IRL situation. in other words, not having to be aware of the glass house from which they throw stones. it's why people get doxxed, it's why everyone tells everyone to kill themselves, etc. none of it is okay but it's a much more deeply-rooted problem that has evolved past the point it used to be at. and the fix is not so simple.
 
My friend just said he thought Metroid Prime was an outdated and bad remake for not having auto-save.

I probably said a few things I shouldn’t have….

Atleast he knew not to say that to my face.
 
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