The subject of this particular episode isn't important, but as usual they all went off on tangents anyway, and one of them was on the incessant need for some people on the Internet to hate things. Especially popular things. And to hold onto this hate beyond any sense of rationality.
It really is a phenomenon that I have seen from time to time, though thankfully not too much recently. The reason for that is more where I hang out than because it's quieting down. Because it's certainly not doing that.
|I feel your pain, Benny|
I've graduated beyond these for the most part, and I've never taken part in them. Now I read (mostly) civilized debates on policy and stuff like that. I still occasionally check out game fora and the like, and you've never seen Internet hate until you've seen the comments in a post about Activision's Call of Duty franchise. The anti-Activision rants can reach legendary proportions.
So why do people on the Internet hate so much?
I think a large part of it is the anonymity that the Internet offers. On most fora that I visit, you can put whatever you want into the profile page. You don't have to use your real name. You can just go by "hist" like I do (well, not exactly like I do, or I may sue your ass off...or the system software just won't allow duplicate accounts. One of the two). You don't have to go by Dave Roy. You don't have to say anything about yourself.
|Ok, some things I can go along with|
So when Craigslistfan36533 starts ripping on those fans of Twilight or Star Trek or whatever, he can do so with complete confidence that nobody will ever come to his house and beat his face in. He can go to a Trek forum and say anything he wants. He would be different from a troll (as I described in a previous post) because he's not going there just to get a reaction. He honestly believes that whatever he's discussing sucked. He honestly can't believe that somebody likes it.
He just likes to get the hate on and not let it go.
Which brings us to another symptom of this phenomenon. The irresistible attraction to commenting (and hating) on something that really isn't aimed at you in the first place.
Chris Antista on this episode talked about this, and it resonated with me too, partially because I'm guilty of some aspects of this. He mentioned the backlash against things like Twilight (a book series that is obviously not aimed at 30-year-old men) and, more pertinent to me, Justin Bieber. I admit, I have made my share of "Bieber is the sign of doom!" jokes, but they're mostly jokes. I certainly don't hate the kid, and I would never go to a site devoted to him and trash him.
But he is an easy target, and maybe I should lay off those a little bit. I promise I've made my last Bieber joke on this blog.
May the worst demon from Hell strike me down if that is not so.
Ok, that was my last one.
C'mon. Breaking an addiction is hard!
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Internet hate.
One last aspect of Internet hate that I just find really odd, and I believe either Chris or Brett Elston also mentioned this on the podcast is the fact that arguments on the Internet seem to be never-ending.
If you and your buddies are at a bar, having some beers, and you get into a discussion about which ship would kick ass in a fight, the Enterprise or the Millenium Falcon, you'll debate it for a bit, get a bit drunker, start ogling the ladies at the end of the bar, and the argument will be quickly forgotten.
Not so on the Internet (maybe that's because there are no ladies at the end of the Internet bar?). That argument will go on for days and days. It may die down for a brief while, but somebody will always resurrect it. It may be an unsuspecting third party who, by saying something totally innocent, will step in it and look at his shoe like it's covered in dog shit. But something will happen. And the argument starts all over again.
Can this phenomenon be explained? I honestly don't know, because it completely mystifies me.
Just like most Internet fan-hate does.
Which is probably why it's a good thing I'm not a practitioner of it, isn't it?
Have you seen this sort of thing around before in the Internet environments you frequent? Or even where you don't frequent?
Inquiring minds want to know.