Yesterday someone left me an unfavourable review, which is fine, as they’re perfectly entitled to their opinion, even if it’s rather insulting. For some reason, after I read it, I sat on the sofa eating brie and feeling cross. It didn’t take long for mild displeasure to turn to dislike then, after some serious brooding, to hate. The Internet makes me angry.
There’s something about the anonymity of the Internet which has left me terribly damaged. I’m sure it started playing first person shooters. There’s nothing like going on a virtual rampage to make you feel that violence is somehow fine. Last week I had this conversation with my wife:
Wife: If someone killed me would you kill them?
Wife: Are you sure?
Wife: Would you feel bad?
Wife: Would you use a gun?
Me: No. I’d want to use my hands.
See? When she was asleep, I spent some time worrying if I was normal. Probably not. And I blame the Internet.
I’m sure it turns people to the dark side. It’s full of vile and venom. It’s the freedom to say and do whatever you want. People feel safe behind their laptops, slating everyone else, raising the average levels of hate in the world to record heights.
Comment sections are now one of my favourite reads. I skim through articles so I can get to the real stuff – the bile that spills out below. Safe behind their online personas, we see the dregs of the online community: racists, trolls, antagonists and, worst of all, pointless pedants. Plenty of humour to be found as well, of course, but it’s drowning beneath an angry sea of hate.
Is the damage irreversible? Probably. A whole species imploding as online the body count rises, comment sections sprawl out of control like a mutated virus and everyone becomes so addicted to giving their own stupid and pointless opinions that evolution decelerates then reverses, sending us back to the trees as hairless chimps.