I’d like to be able to pinpoint the exact moment in history when digitized hate became a ‘thing’.
Twitter has been around since 2006, but it’s popularity has undoubtedly skyrocketed in the past few years. Considered (by me) to be one of the quickest outlets for users to publish their feelings of disdain in 140 characters or less, Twitter is like the painful arguments you’d have with a sibling or close friend. You know the ones whom (in the heat of the moment) leave you with a gut-punch of a hurtful comment at the end of it all, only this time that gut-punch is preceded by a hashtag. Let’s just say, the age of digitized hate is definitely upon us.
I often wonder how this newfound outlet for publicizing hateful comments influences our “natural” affinity for others. Ya know, like, in the real world. Passively seeing a person fill up our Twitter timeline or Facebook home page with negative comments, whether about others or simply about the universally shared case of the Mondays, allows that negativity to be stored in our minds only to be called upon during a later encounter. I believe that we are reminded of things like a person’s social media presence first, and their “true” character, outside of what they present online, second. This presents a distinct problem for our technology-dependent generation in that we not only deem it acceptable or common to judge a person based on their online etiquette, but also we seem to forget that those hateful posts we carelessly submit to the world wide web are, in fact, permanent ink on millions of computer screens.
Have you ever held an online argument or posted a something hateful that you later ended up regretting?