The interconnectedness of the internet has made mob mentality so much more powerful. It is easy to jump on the hate train when thousands of other people you’ve never met are already doing it. We’re also living in one of the most polarizing times of recent decades, where people draw definitive lines between those like them and those who have different ideas.
This is problematic because it ignores people’s humanity. We’re living in scary times, and the pandemic brought out the worst in people. We are still trying to recover from that.
However, many have been fractured in ways that may not be easily fixed.
So many are quick to dismiss others and jump to the most extreme and violent response, rather than having a conversation or letting water go under the bridge.
The use of modern technology has fabricated a culture of misfired hatred, composed of people jumping to conclusions far too soon to protect themselves. It is possible this came to be because we live in a world where we as a society have a collective need to protect ourselves because we have all experienced how easy it is to get hurt. We should not turn to hurting others just because we feel like it will spare our own hurt, because that not the reality. It will only spread the pain further.
The internet has also really brought out hatred, it is strongly felt that is due in part to anonymity. It’s easy to say something mean when nobody knows it is you.
Thinking back to an article written by Staff Contributor Aaron Milligan a couple weeks ago about generational perceptions, it is because our generation has grown up with the internet. We have the extreme as a baseline. We have never known a time where our conversations were not this way.
From a political lens, the country has become increasingly polarized in the last two decades. It’s reached a point of hyperpartisanship that degrades the fabric of our political system. Politics is no longer boring conversations about tax rates and foreign policy, it’s a battle of good versus evil, and both sides think they are the good guys.
The internet has made it possible for us to receive information faster than ever before, but because more and more is being thrown at us so rapidly, we feel it has become necessary to respond even more rapidly.
The best way to describe the internet in the modern age is an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” The episode in question is “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street’’ and sees a small suburban cul-de-sac descend rapidly into chaos when they think there is a monster amongst them. While the episode was conceived during the era of The Red Scare, it can also clearly show the dangers of mob mentality.
If anger and fear are the driving forces behind any decision, and enough people begin to buy into said decision with hardly any proof, then it could very well lead to destruction.