During the last few days I experienced an unusual spike in activity in an area of my life’s which is relatively quiet (and it is like this on purpose, I try to keep it that way). It’s about social media, more exactly Facebook, where one of my posts ignited a whirlwind of comments, almost 100, many of them quite inflammatory. I won’t dive into the details of the actual post, because it is in line with other articles I’ve wrote here, about the generalized mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic, and all the changes that are caused by that. (If you’re curious, though, you can read some of the said articles here, here and here).
There is a certain type of reaction that people seem to be entitled to, every time “someone is very wrong on the internet”. I use this sentence very often as an ironical and sarcastic way to depict this utterly nonsensical noise we’re creating out of thin air. That reaction is a combination of, like I said, entitlement, but also anger, a desire for the other party to experience some pain, contempt and superiority.
I wouldn’t give too much weight to this type of reaction, if there wouldn’t be for a very subtle change in our lives. You see, as social media tends to be more and more an intrinsic, inseparable part of our lives, this attitude is pervading other sectors as well. Because they practiced it so many times on social media, and because the boundaries of social media and real life are melting, people are becoming arrogant, intolerant and enraged in their daily lives too.
How is this happening?
Well, here are a few causes (or at least some things that I consider to be causes for this type of behavior).
In programming, asynchronous calls are a pain in the ass. You can’t relay on a variable until you actually got it from the server, which may take seconds. So you have to take extra steps in your code to account for this. So, basically, your code “acts” like the variable will be present at some point, even if it isn’t. You prepare for everything (or at least you try to, if you’re not a lazy programmer).
Interaction in social media is asynchronous. Meaning you’re not talking to someone in real time, although the “wall”, the “stream” can give…