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
Playing: Minecraft: Nerdcrafteria