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The promise of the Internet was that unlimited information and experiences would draw us together. But instead it seems to have driven us apart.

For years I've observed this behavior but haven't been able to vocalize it correctly. Originally I called the behavior of collective opinions as "the hive mentality" of the Internet. But that wasn't exactly right and I often got called out on it. The most prominent example was when I made a comic about a guy disagreeing with opinions and being shouted at till he remained quiet, eventually fading into the background with everyone else. The consensus of that comic was that if you disagree with someone you aren't bullied into not speaking, but instead are free to go someplace else where people who do agree with you exist. And you know what? That wasn't what i was trying to convey, but is sadly true. The Internet is not a hive mind. It's many tiny pocket echo chambers of mutual agreements.

And this is becoming a growing problem, I think, because no one wants to ever compromise or try to come to an agreement on anything anymore. Want to bitch about a movie? Find a group of people who hate it and join in. Conversely did you enjoy something but see everyone hating it? Find others who enjoyed it and bask in their mutual appraisals for things you like.

I feel like this is where a lot of the internet's smugness and snarky attitude comes from. Because the only time "drama" appears is when these widely different groups butt heads with each other, usually to the point of completely ignoring the other side simply for being ON the other side.

I can't help but feel that when people cozy up to other like-minded individuals and use that as their justification of their actions, that we are taking a sever step backwards. I think it's very important for us to learn how to deal with and come to terms with issues without constantly flying off the handle.

Disagreeing doesn't mean there has to be a fight. You can disagree while also being respectful and inoffensive. And just because someone might disagree with you doesn't make them automatically wrong or their attempts to explain why they disagree as a personal attack upon you.

I've been ruminating about this for a while, but it wasn't until the reviews for Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 came out that I've been able to make sense of it. Both films have been widely polarizing and it seems like no one is trying to come to see from the other side. Rather its become opposing sides fighting back with one another, with no room for serious discussions.

I don't like this echo chamber the Internet has. I don't like that If you disagree with someone you can just hide behind others who agree with you. It's cowardly. It prevents us from having to deal with other people's opinions while heightening our own. It's a tremendous ego boost, but a terrible social hindrance.

And just so we are clear, I'm entirely guilty of this as well. We all are. And to be honest... I don't know how we fix it. It's reached a point where I don't know if its possible TO fix.

The world is not black and white. I really wish we could stop trying to compartmentalize everything into yay or nay categories. And the worse part is that I think a lot of it is done subconsciously.

What do you think? Have you experienced the irrational one sidedness I've spoken about? Agree disagree? If so, why and how? Lets discuss this openly as I feel it's a very important issue we need to address.
  • Listening to: The Halfman's Song
  • Reading: Game of Thrones
  • Watching: Futurama
  • Playing: Minecraft: Nerdcrafteria
  • Eating: Yes
  • Drinking: No
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DarkKnightGafgar Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
I hate indeed seen this exact type of echo chamber mentality throughout the net in the past few years... and it is indeed no longer possible to fix it, I fear. The internet has polarized people to such an extent that coming generations will likely be completely incapable of cooperating with those outside of their mental cliques. Given the increasing number of people outright calling for the deaths of those who disagree with them - on anything and everything, no matter how minor - on the internet today I find myself very, very worried for the future political leaderships of the first world.
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've called it "fanboy/girl mindset" before-- the idea that if you don't like what I like, you are an enemy. It exists in real life (and that's where I've seen it, mostly directed against me), but I think internet culture does magnify it.
MiningForDegus Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
I was writing a long comment, but I realized it was going to come off sounding wrong and unlike me so I'll just say: ignore those people. That is all.
Lauwenmark Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
I disagree with several points, quite heavily, and for a number of reasons.

First, Internet is in no way different that real-life when it comes to people of similar opinions grouping together, finding a form of safety in gathering with others who share their convictions. Many populist and activist movements are based on a similar pattern, with people reinforcing each other in their own conviction that "they are right" and "everybody else isn't". What Internet changed is the speed and reach of such movements; it is now easier than ever to create groups of common ideas; but it didn't fundamentally change the game. At most, it made it easier to notice, because finding groups and watching their debates doesn't anymore require a great deal of effort.

Second, as you said yourself, "the world is not black and white". Such left-congratulating groups are not the backbone of Internet, and there is much more than "tiny echo chambers of mutual agreements". It is also a place where public debates can and do occur all the time, on every possible topic. Yes, it often means that the debate can get very hot, and strong words get exchanged. So what? What matters is that ideas are exchanged, debated, and exposed for everybody to read. Anyone is free to read, get informed, and form its own opinion. That's a key point of Internet nowadays, I think: a messy, yet huge crossroad of opinions and thoughts.

And third, you say that everybody is guilty of hiding behind others opinions to strengthen their own position. I cannot agree with that. Many people - myself included - don't need to delegate to authorities or communities of any sort the defense of my own opinions. I - and many - try to rely on their own reasoning, feelings, and hard cold facts, to reach an opinion. Besides, just because your own thoughts are in agreement with someone else doesn't necessarily mean that you are hiding behind them; it may just mean that, well, both reached the same conclusions.

Yet, it does not mean that the "irrational one-sidedness" you describe does not exist, quite the contrary. This is something that always existed.

Now, the interesting question is: "how to fix it?"

That's quite easy: if you don't want to fall into that behavior, accept debate with an open mind; never consider any disagreeing opinion with disdain or as a personal insult, but rather try to understand why it appeared in the first place. Leave your comfort zone, and go discuss with communities you are not used to deal with. Listen to what people are saying with respect and real interest. Don't justify your work "because expert X said it needed to be like that". Accept that you can be wrong, and be ready to admit making mistakes in public.

There is no dilemma. It is all about being able to accept divergent opinion and criticism, and embrace them as part of your own self-development. I know that what I'll write now will probably hurt you, but I'll write it anyway, since you wanted openness: I strongly believe that most of the negative perception you have from the outside world comes from that you have not yet accepted those principles, and that you are refusing to apply them to yourself.

And thus, to answer your journal question: yes, I've seen such "irrational one-sidedness" in action - from you. I regret it, since I believe it has a strong negative impact both on you and on your work. I just hope this debate you are trying to open will not only open others minds, but also - and mainly - your own one.
TomPreston Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't know how anything you wrote here is suppose to "hurt" me, you've brought up a lot of interesting and introspective ideas and opinions. Which is why I make journals like this in the first place: to help spurn discussion both for my, and everyone else's, benefits. You've given me a lot to think about and while I don't always agree on every point, it's all worthwhile to think about and to take in. So thank you.
Lauwenmark Featured By Owner May 31, 2013
I'm glad that we understood each other, then. And I agree with you: I hope this, in the end, can not only help you or me, but also anybody reading this. Thanks for your polite answer - I really appreciate.
el-dub Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
basically, i agree with your analysis, although i use a different set of terminology to describe it. everything (and practically everyone) now seems to exist in a niche market, but that's been developing for the past 20 years or so, long before web 2.0 came along. so perhaps for the phenomenon you've described the internet is as much a symptom as it is a cause. but having said that i think your use of the phrase "echo chamber" is, sadly, very accurate. unfortunately, this wonderful device we've created for ourselves rarely expands our point of view, or even offers much of a challenge; all too it often merely reinforces a sense of isolation, even of solipsism. not to mention fanaticism and a loss of empathy.
ManiacalCupcakeXD Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It reminds me of the never ending war between religious people and atheists on the internet...

Religious people insulting atheists because "they reject God" and threatening with Hell and despair.

Atheists telling religious people they're stupid idiots because "they believe in a fairytale".

(I'm refering to some types of people I've seen on the internet and not every religious person or atheist in the world)

I think they're both respectless towards each other and should be ashamed of themselves. Just because you disagree doesn't mean you have to hate each other?
I don't believe in God and one of my very good friends is religious and she's a wonderful person. why does different believes have to be such a big deal?
nevaeh-lee Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Sorry my phone some how got me on your journal when I was on someone else's x.x ahaha..... Feel free to delet my messages sense they have nothing to do with anything x.x sorry bout that...
nevaeh-lee Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Student Digital Artist
All your stuff is amazing dear!! Don't ever say its not! ;u;
You have such a talent, and your still so young!
You will go through many styles, but at some point it will stop, and start to become just part of you<3 and you will love it, though it may take some time, never give up! Cause you have an amazing talent, so never give up and never say your art isn't good, when its is so beautiful and unique!!
I have loved your art sense the first day I met you!!!! Your style was so impressive and I'm still jealous of it XD

So keep your head up and keep drawing! Cause your to darn amazing at it to stop!
MrHolister Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No, you're wrong. I read in another blog that the internet has helped society deal with real emotions in a digital bloodbath of non hendered rage and apathy. Think of what would happen if all of these people that fly off the handle handled (pun..:P) situations like this in REAL WORLD LIFE.. It's good that we have an outlet to act like bratty 5 year olds and be confident enough behind a computer monitor to endlessly hurl insults at opposing sides of an argument. How did we ever manage unbridled hate and unregistered aggression before? blah blah blah sarcasm blah sandwich sarcasm..
MrHolister Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
BTW, that was meant as sarcasm... just in case I was vague.
Kaferara Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've actually been thinking about this for awhile too, and I actually do flee to others who agree with me, whether I know it or not.
BoxcarChildren Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Hers a conclusion there is much more to life then the internet. and we fall to see that. =D
HourglassOfSouls Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
An interesting point of view.

I think it is a problem that can be fixed, it's just the people this focuses on need to make the decisions themselves. To tell other people to do so would only make them feel offended and set up yet another echo chamber to talk this idea down.

The world could be such a friendlier place if we all just stopped and listened to others for a moment.
pmcde7 Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Student Writer
THANK YOU! I've been trying to find a way to explain this myself for a while now, but it never ends up making actual sense, even to myself. So thanks for writing this.

However, there was one tiny point I... didn't quite disagree with, but didn't seem exactly right. You said the internet has 'driven us apart' and I can definately see where you're coming from, but another way to look at it, and by saying this I most certainly am not encouraging this 'echo chamber' behaviour, is that one could, for lack of a better word, argue that these echo chambers which have been and are forming are, in a way, bringing people together. It's just that it's being done selectively and in a violent manner. And when they come across an echo chamber with differing values, the results are more catastrophic than Francium and the anything. ^^'
RookieOwl Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm very found of the Iron Man 3 dilemma, as a loyal comic book reader, I really found myself in a riddle
I liked the movie, but it wasn't perfect:
:bulletred:Somehow accomplished nothing: it was the first movie after The Avengers it was supposed to lead to The Avengers 2
:bulletred:The end was made half assed-ly: So we got back fixed Pepper, ah the thing in my chest? I just took it off, because I always could but why not doing it now, my mansion and work burned but its ok we're looking 'foward'... yep half assed
:bulletred:There're some problematic plot holes: like the 'yo have this tons of armors but must have a hard time repairing this one you're hanging around'
:bulletred:We really didn't got the villain we came to see Iron Man fight, and they instead make it a total joke (I actually liked that part, good plot twist, but to stay firm to the comics that was a bad move)

BUT F*CK THAT, I LIKED IT, haters gonna hate because they only focus on bad things.
That I'm being positive doesn't mean I'm blind and think the movie was absolutely perfect, but that I recognize its mistakes but like it regardless.

Aaaaand that's why I don't hang with comic book geeks anymore they're too black and white-ish.
Being close minded only brings problems.
Iylish Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
At risk of perpetuating the echo chamber effect by agreeing with you, I agree with you :P
nickworcester Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Always have an open mind. Question everything. That's been my policy for a few years now.
SnowScales Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
THIS. I think that more people need to hear this message.

We can -learn- stuff by listening to the bad side of everything, guise. (σuσ)
AmericanGirlHope Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh! I just read a story in school that reminded me of this. "The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury.
Eldora-Rea Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student General Artist
The Internet to me has seemly become like a high school in terms.
People seem to have that kind of mentally in the silliest of things. The people of the internet are no different.
Sir-Catherine Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hmmm...comparing the Internet to high works. I wonder if the anonymity and the seeming impermanence of the net lets us refuse to mentally grow up, or lets us regress the moment we become electronic people instead of real humans face to face.

Seriously, the drama and insults that get thrown about on forums all across the net...can anyone truly believe these very same people, if they met in a room, would act the same way to each other?
Rosewolf12 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
I've seen it a lot, especially in Fandom pairings. Those are the WORST.
However, I've also seen little pockets of places not like this. Certain RPs, for me, have been very general and open minded and we've had many discussions outside the RP about book characters and stuff like that, without the black/white, echo chamber mentality.
There are special places on the internet where that mentality doesn't exist. But the echo chamber seems to be the most prevalent.
pinestater234 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Photographer
This isn't happening just on the web. I believe this is why the political climate in the U.S. is so toxic. Folks who sport a particular ideology only associate with those with whom they agree and have no desire to speak with those who might have other points of view. Kind of sad and, as far as I'm concerned, very unhealthy.
shareyourworldwide Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
It's how people ar brought up I think. I see loads of comments on news websites of people complaining about their and/or other children. Also hearing a lot about the "13-year olds playing CoD and swearing a lot" comment lets me think, that this is the root. The problem is, that those people most probably never have had a discussion in which they saw that they where wrong (Or partially wrong) and they never had to deal with it.
So far for my two cents
Cheers :)
NoviceArtist487 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
It's basic human nature for opposing sides to butt heads and come out prejudiced against the other side. Its more of a group think, actually (at least, I think it is). Throughout history, opposing groups have fought against each other, trying to get their points across and naturally having biased views against their opponents. Being a human construct, the internet would naturally be affected by human values, but the added anonymity emboldens a lot of people to take drastic measures, effectively becoming less restrained.
MadJesters1 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Student Filmographer
Huh, sounds like highschool XD
Desmodeus Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The places I frequent on the internet seem to be immune to this phenomenon then.
Certainly, I can find people I agree or disagree with on just about anything, on any 'site I visit frequently and these people often argue with me over one topic and agree with me on the next.
Anthro7 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There's a place for everything, and everything in its place... For me, that was high school. When ya entered, "OH, YOU WATCH CARTOOOOOONS! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!" So I sought out the small group of anime geeks in the school. We didn't all like the same shows, but there was safety from bullying when we were in numbers. Also, we all had different angles to share. Janel had the internet, before it was big. I had a video club which imported for everyone. Laura's dad went to China town once a month and came back with everything of import awesomeness. Networking at its finest. (Back before "the network".)

But by the time everyone in my grade had reached our final year of high school, we were beyond slamming one another for our cliques. No one cared that the jocks were jocks, the choir boys were all secretly doing drugs at their parents' vacation houses, and the cheerleaders and drama nerds were almost mutually shared teachers' pets. We just... got used to each others' identities and stopped caring to point it out. I believe it was called maturing.

In science class, the lead smarty girl could sit with the one punk, two gamers, the lone anime nerd, and one of the drama leads, and we could all hold civil conversations that crossed platforms from time to time. We no longer cared that these people were outside of our group of familiarity. They were something new and different who somehow managed to share a common thread - and in the process we all learned a bit more about each other than we thought we knew. (I learned more from the druggie bully who used to beat me up in middle school, during our senior year... He was actually a quite nice fellow, and willing to educate us in subculture so long as we were willing to not shun him in return.)
MasterOfMyFate Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've noticed this trend and found myself responding by avoiding anyplace online I feel might breed negativity. If a news article allows reader comments, I don't read them. If a fandom can get bad tempered (even if it's for a show I like), I don't interact with them. I avoid the topics of religion and politics like the plague. The sad thing is, I've basically been reduced to only interacting with a select group of people that I know are good natured.

The internet's such an angry place. :P
nlmchaos12 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I don't think the problem is so much with echo chambers as it is with the flame wars.
strange12girl Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I do agree that it seems to happen a lot, though I would say that I personally don't mind that others disagree with me, and I am willing to discuss in a civil manner with others. Sadly I seem to be one of those rare people left out there.
sh4rky2 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
This reminds me of my dad who once faced a similar situation. I can't remember what the group of people were arguing about, but what angered my dad was when everyone was trying to "grayscale" the problem by making a compromise between two sides. When my dad stated that he wasn't a part of either side, but was a part of the problem, someone told him to pick a side. My dad responded with this quote:

"I do not want to pick your side. I also do not want to pick the other side. I will pick my side, and it is not black or white, like your sides. It doesn't even sit on your 'grayscale' side. In fact, I see other sides as well, and they are not black, white, nor gray. They are blues, reds, yellows, greens, purples, and more. Hell, I don't see in black and white. I see in colors that even you cannot comprehend! And until you realize that, I will not see you as a person who has an open mind."

Sadly, my dad got fired from his job for saying that, but at least he made a statement that has, and always will, stick with me. i hope this quote helps with the convo.
MudslingerArtist Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   Digital Artist
terrible social hindrance. - you were thinking what I was thinking
Mike-Obee-Lay Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Well, I have indeed seen this, but I have also come into contact with many other people on the internet who look at both sides and try to understand both points of view before making their descision.

But, keeping with the issue, I think it's more about what's going on off of the computer. How people are raised and brought up play a huge roll on how they act around others (whether virtually or personally). There must be discipline when raising a child, otherwise they will always think that they are right and only want their way and will get into tantrums or fights when something opposes them.

Also, you can't treat your kids like they don't know anything, because they know surprisingly more than you think they do. Or at least they observe their surroundings very well. Then they make their own conclusions as to why something is some way. So we need to ask our children questions to let them see that things aren't always what they appear to be and have them learn to look at things in more than one way. This creates open-minded children, which will become an open-minded, understanding, empathetic generation.

And who doesn't want that for the future?
Atata Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is what our countries fought for, the freedom of expression among equality. Now this is the burden we must take, and make into lemon lollipops.
LordStephen Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with you about the net pushing us apart rather than bringing us together but the original point of the internet was to transmit any and all information to anyone and everyone who wanted it, at the fastest possible speed to increase such things as scientific advances and technological breakthroughs. Any bonuses of being able to chat with people across the world was just a good thing, and would help to improve the individual businesses as well.

I aslo agree with the fact that everyone who's used the net is responsible for the seperation, and while it might look like it's irreversible, the only way in which it can be fixed is to just leave it alone, it'll correct itself after a while, and if it doesn't the net will crash leaving only a few things left connected, the way it was originally built.

The internet gives us plenty of bonuses but also gives us an equal number of penalties. I understand that it can cause problems, but we're all gonna have to deal with them as they come and work out ways in which we can correct the problems on a higher level without outside help from people who want absolute control over everyone else. (See the stupid bills put in to place by the U.S. Government and various European governments as the "wonderful" outside help.) If we can keep the internet within the public's hands and out of the government's (where it applies) then we can have a better chance at correcting the problems that arise.
Darth-Flake Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is no internet only problem. People are slowly unlearning to make proper arguments. I mean, it is not like there are no conflicts in internet (the headbutting) but usually they are filled with false arguments, made up "facts" and statistics and of course lot's of swearing. And people don't respect each other on the internet, which means that almost every conflict leads into a fight.
That is also the reason why people don't do arguments on the internet anymore, why should they? It only means stress, nothing is gained and I'm waisting my free time explaining someone on the other side of the world who won't even read my commetns properly why depression is a real thing and not made up. (for example)

It's sad, really, I wish people would try to follow the conversation rules of the outernet more, because THEN we could probably make proper arguments, in which on side tries to convince the othere with *gasp* facts rather than with swearwords.
augochlorella Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I definitely believe echo chambers can be polarizing and spur antagonism towards different beliefs. These may be extreme examples, but I read a lot of hate, extremist, and conspiracy sites for fun (because I think they're funny), and it's amazing/horrifying the conclusions people can come up with when they're surrounded by other extremists. If you'd like the textbook definition of an echo chamber, check out the comment sections of The Spearhead or Stormfront*. The most appalling and hateful imaginable are casually tossed around like they're sharing recipes, and the few times I've seen one commenter try to call out another for going too far, they're quickly shut down.

*Do not actually do this unless you're mentally prepared to handle the realization that there are real life people out there who live and breathe like you and me who believe things like "black people are conspiring to steal our white women and end the white race" or "the government wants women fighting in combat because it knows they can be more easily manipulated than men to kill their own citizens and even men in their own ranks" and yes those are real quotes.
GoreLoverd Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
People like to hide behind their computer screens because they know they're safe from being punched in the face. So they're free to say whatever they want without fear of the physical harm they deserve. Well I think they deserve.
Loveless-Nights Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, fortunately for me I don't really ever stick with any group for two long. I've literally been part of everything on the net and I've found that when you don't have a face, you can say what you want. I always fought people just liked to argue, But there are narrow minded people everywhere. Look at the big picture is all I guess... shrugs
xKlieverx Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
The Halfmans song eh? Right on!!! It's human nature really, we all see something as black and white because we become threatened when our comfort zone is challenged. Our society has developed a very linear mindset throughout the beginning. In Medicine, philosophy, you can put it to anything where someone will say ''MY WAY IS RIGHT!! YOURS IS WRONG!!!''

There was a good comparison to these mindsets. Male and female energies (Not really based on gender)
Female energy is the land of limitless possibilities and creativity.

Male energy is focused on going from point A to B. It travels in the one direction which it deems best and ignores other options. This is the kind of mindset we have been set to use.
Mandi-Cakes81 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   General Artist
Yes, the interwebs is rife with the irrational one-sided mentality but it's not just the internet, it's everywhere and so bad that even members of our government can't have a discussion without acting like children. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion but to get into verbal fists fights over it to the point both sides have forgotten what it was they were fighting about. With the internet, though, my opinion is that anonymity is one of the big causes of online douchebaggery. Nobody knows who you are so feel free to say whatever without consequence.
That, or they are all Negaholics...or both...
I've seen on forums people spouting opinions about something so that are so off point it makes one wonder are they serious or just trolling? I look at some of these things and I'm like '...that person should go back and re-watch that movie because I think they missed the point it was trying to make' or 're-watch because the point they are trying to make about such movie is completely wrong...'

With Iron-man, yeah, I get how some are pissed about The Mandarin's portrayal, I enjoyed the movie and I kinda half-liked, half-disliked what they did with the character but I understand why they did it that way.
With Star Trek: Into Darkness, I can see how some fanboys might not like it because it can be seen as a rewrite of Wrath of Kahn and to some the original will always be superior (I would have to re-watch the original to get a good idea if it truly is or not) or they don't like the idea of Kahn being played by a white British guy because the character is from India...(yes, but in the original and in tv series, he's played by Ricardo Montalban, who was Mexican)...perhaps, maybe because it's essentially a rewrite, maybe they went with how he was originally conceived by Carey Wilber, a Nordic superhuman, before he was changed by Harve Bennett who wanted Kahn to be the villain of Star Trek 2...I don't know...I just mentally throw my hands in the air and say I don't know what to tell ya...haters will have to take it up with Abrams...
Caliphos Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sadly, this is where "trolling" and "white knighting" come into play, which doesn't help when such labels serve to confine and divide us further.
Passin Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I can't link the damn article, New Scientist doesn't like linking it's articles, but basically as I recall, there was a study that showed that basically people become more extreme in their positions when they consistently talk to people who hold the same positions. So, for example, if you think Bush was a bad president and you talk with other people who think the same, then you end up thinking that Bush was crazy! I've probably not transferred the idea properly, but that's the basic idea
SkeyeDragon Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I've spent a lot of time not joining any of these "pockets"... every time I've encountered one it's been an unpleasant experience. So I kinda spend a lot of time on my own, with other people who avoid these pockets. It makes for not a huge fanbase, but it's a price to pay for avoiding internet stupidity. /shrug
You could say that by being in a group that avoids pockets, that we are sort of in a pocket... but I have a lot of discussions with my friends, because they don't have the same opinions to me. I like it, I like discussion.
And pocket people know I'm not worth bothering. :|
I'll be happy when people care more about what is right than trying to always be right. It's much more a societal thing than an internet thing, as you can see this in real life as well.
wind-adept-Ivan Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
I've noticed this effect as well, and I do agree that it is limiting our experiences as a global society. However, I won't claim to have never been guilty of doing the same thing, although for different reasons. I'm a furry, so I come under fire a lot for simply existing due to this phenomena. As a result, I eventually stopped being as open about it as I originally was, and started only associating with a small group of online friends (only a couple of which are other furs) who were okay with this and accepted me as an individual instead of berating me as a stereotype.

For me, it's less about being right or wrong, and more of a defensive mechanism. I've never put anyone down for having a different opinion than me, although I have no qualms with knocking them down a peg if they attack someone for no reason and I think I can do so in a civilized manner. I just tend to keep to my tiny group of close friends, because I know that they'll always accept me just like I do for them.

I dunno if I got too off-topic there, but I wanted to point out another side of the issue you brought up. ^^;
Catbot158 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Student Writer
Honestly, I'm glad that there are people who agree with you. For someone like me, who has a problem conveying my op about stuff to my friends, who happen to be very judgmental, finding people who agree with me is awesome. Being able to share about my passion with people with the same ideals is such a relief. I'm not so alone with my opinions anymore, and that part makes me glad.
However, I do agree with the fighting part. If you like something, that's fine. Don't bust someone else's chops about it. Even Doug Walker pointed this out, when he talked about reviewing Garbage Pail Kids. He wanted to meet someone who liked the movie, and said he didn't want to judge; he only wanted an explanation, a reason so he could see from another point-of-view.
And that's what we need; another point of view. Just to look from someone else's shoes. I dunno how you'll fit into them, or how if you even want to, but just to understand someone's opinions is just as great as finding those who have yours. It expands the mind and makes us more open to things.
DoomBerry83 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
I've discussed with a friend how this happens with the news. You are likely to only watch the news you agree with. Or read books with views you agree on. Etc. No one challenges themselves, clinging to shared beliefs out of comfort. But like you said, we are all guilty of this.
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May 22, 2013


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