Why Are People So Angry?

Maybe it’s just little overly sensitive me, but social media seems to have been even more toxic than normal in recent days. And by normal I mean the nasty, angry, hateful place it has been for some time now. The land of the rampaging troll, where faceless, vindictive keyboard warriors wreak havoc and inflict untold harm every time they hit the tweet or post button. It’s a jungle out there.

It’s a return to the days of the baying lynch mob who marched to the castle walls with burning torches whenever they felt the need to vent their ire. Extremists on both sides of the political, religious and cultural spectrums have been sharpening their pitchforks and are now released on the rest of us. Seems moderation and tolerance are things of the past. Sitting on the fence is no longer an option.

Words like ‘cancel culture’ and ‘woke’ are overtaking ‘Covid’ and ‘Brexit’ as the buzz expressions of 2021. The middle ground, where courteous, constructive debate should flourish, has become a no-mans/womans/persons land where one step out of line and you are effectively condemned to the dustbin of life, your career and reputation in tatters at the hand of the online judges, juries and executioners.

I’m now no longer comfortable expressing the mildest of opinions on Twitter for fear of being torn to shreds by people who don’t know a thing about me outside of the 280 characters I have just typed. The politically correct police now patrol the internet, their teeth and claws sharpened, thirsting for the blood of anyone who dares have an opinion that slightly deviates from their own.

People think in black and white so much more now. There appears to be a lack of nuance and context. Words such as ‘maybe’ and ‘possibly’ no longer are welcome and the art of communication has become a one-way street. A very noisy one-way street where horns are honked and give way signs ignored. There is no more ‘after you’ as it’s all ‘me, me, me.’ Debate has been replaced by irate and they who scream loudest and longest invariably prevail.

There’s a lot to be said for the old line that we have one mouth and two ears for a reason. Active listening seems to be a dying art. Many are now so entrenched in their values and opinions that they would die in a ditch rather than entertain an opposing view. Many are so angry that they are not being listened to that they fall into exactly the same trap. Hypocrisy is rife in the lands of the supposedly free.

So what do I do? Delete my accounts and adopt a Luddite existence? It has its temptations. I can walk the dog, call into the village and make it safely home without some stranger running up to me, screaming in my face and telling me I’m wrong about every single thought I’ve ever entertained in my miserable, sheltered existence. But if I do so am I giving up, taking the easy option in walking away?

It’s a hard call. There are many pros to being on social media. It can be informative, illuminating and fun. But the darkness is creeping ever nearer and now infringes on my little corner of the internet. Life is challenging enough without walking on eggshells every time you dare to pop your head above the parapets. I want to be entertained not eviscerated. Being so angry all the time must be exhausting.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

38 thoughts on “Why Are People So Angry?

  1. I think some people have been locked down too long. Hopefully they will be able to get out soon and forget the keyboard. Though I am certainly with you on the over-politically correctness or wokeness that is pervading every nook and cranny of our lives. My wife is thinking of starting a campaign to get more middle-aged white ladies represented… They seem to have been overlooked. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The internet has always been a nasty place. I remember the chat rooms of AOL, back in the late 90’s. You had to have a VERY thick skin to last in those places & we all had screen names that hid our identities!

    Some people live to take other people down. It’s just the way the world is. Bullies have always been with us & always will be. I learned to ignore them a long time ago. Especially on the internet.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I love a good discussion, but I do agree that there is a vocal minority that wants to change the world to their image of how it should be, even if it is not reality, the best for others or even the majority of populations. They bully, twist what is said, and push their orthodoxy whatever it is viciously, and like a weapon to castigate others who disagree with them. Like you I have thought about leaving social media behind, waaaaayyyyy behind, but at the same time there is good out there, so I stay. However, I use the block buttons far more than I used and unfollow those who are nasty to me or others. I don’t have time in my life for the trolls, zealots or others who use their ideas and single-mindedness to belittle others. Keyboard warriors and bots who know that they are safe in their insulated worlds where what they say little or no consequences to them personally, who if you were to encounter them in person most would never say the things they type. A sad state to be in, but it is where have come, the social media company’s decided and yes, chose to ensure that their algorithms notice those who are the most provocative or popular. Sad way to look at things, but…well at least you are one of the good ones Steve and your writing does make others think beyond what they normally would.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The only thing I can think of is people are idiots. I, thankfully, have my comment moderations on for this kind of thing, as I have a blog that certainly not all people would agree with (it’s not harmful or anything; just New Age). But some people do need to grow up. They need to understand construction in our words. Unfortunately, there will always be the one percent

    Liked by 3 people

  5. There is an old movie called The Never Ending Story in which the nothing was taking over everything. That is what I think of when I see the mess going on around us. The way people treat each other, the over the top political correctness, the attacks and loss of comprehension and conversations over the differences in ideas.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. It’s very disheartening and I find myself also wishing sometimes to be very quiet because of it all. I’m very glad that you keep writing here. A safe and welcoming reminder of the way community and togetherness can be. Thank you and take care ☺️🦋

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Can someone ever put it like you just did; never. I am living with angry peoples. Atleast you see this anger on the intranet of things- surely you would die if you experienced physical hate from peoples around you.
    My experience with hate has taught me kindness, so, I know the feeling of seeing so much hate n wonder why

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I discovered that some acquaintances and family members believe in things I find deplorable. They don’t usually target me for abuse but like to vent received opinions heard on far right media. They live in their own reality bubble based on an interpretation (or invention of) of facts that defies comprehension. They have their own inside language and terms, so engaging with them requires translation. And they have an insider’s attitude: they smirk at those outside their circle. They think that everyone else is weak, pathetic and deluded. It’s hard to find common ground for communication.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You should always speak your mind and delete those who cannot endure a different viewpoint. It is hard in the current climate but we have to speak truth in love. It is fruitless to try and explain as they are not looking for that but are hearing only what they want. You are right that very few listen any more. Being a moderate in these times is trying. Getting people to hold a “discussions” today is a challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have similar thoughts, but must also add an opinion if it’s ok. I feel like social media has become a bit lonely. Maybe I’m just bored of it, but at times I feel like a small fish in a large pond. Rarely do I speak to anyone through social media except the several wonderful friends and collogues I’ve made over the years. The rest of the dozens to thousands of people I follow rarely speak to me, unless they desire some attention for their brand or to just randomly mock me if or when I say something they don’t agree with fully. I love social media and see the true purpose it should have, yet at times like these logging off and shooting the breeze seems more therapeutic rather then scrolling through dozens of messages that hardly affect my life nor their own. Thanks for these chats, friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. One of the reasons I stopped blogging is because of this very topic. I am afraid to talk about the things I am really passionate about freely for fear of the online crucifixion of this new era of control. That’s what it’s really about. Control. We are no longer allowed to have opinions anymore and speak freely. Everybody is different and should be allowed to say how they feel but because the powers that be are trying to put a stop to it and I feel that it’s all being done to ultimately take away our freedom of speech. This is a huge problem that not enough people are talking about publicly. Because of fear. Look I may not agree with what everyone in the world says or thinks but I will defend everyone’s right to say it or think the way they think.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. The only recipe for sanity is to limit social media and new consumption. Also break from screen time…although here I am bingeing on comedy this rainy Sunday. But, heigh ho, whatever gets us through Lockdown 3.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Block the trolls on Twitter. So many are not even human. They are there to disrupt and create havoc. It’s not personal. Block is your friend!

    Btw—the olden day riots of storming the capital is not so olden. Jan 6, 2021 was a horrid example.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been focusing so much on my fiction writing lately that I haven’t been using social media much.

    I will go follow you on Twitter, though I mostly use it for writing (and the occasional dog pic)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The irony is that if we refuse to listen respectfully to one another, we will miss benefitting from the perspectives of others. These days education is extremely expensive, but listening respectfully can provide an education at no cost.
    https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2021/03/12/respect-what-a-concept/

    As for taking the middle ground, we can benefit from the wisdom of both sides if we refuse to take an extreme position.
    https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2021/01/29/cant-we-do-both/

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Yeah social media is a minefield now. You get lynched for having an opinion. It’s scary really the power of it all now. I very rarely go on anything now. Too much shouting and spitting, not enough laughter.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s disheartening. We used to have a justice system to try the allegedly guilty. Now the media takes care of the whole process in about two seconds. Just put your politically correct cap on and you become everyone’s instant judge. Really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think people have already been worn down by all of the lockdowns and lack of freedom.
    Now, on top of everything else, free speech seems to have vanished too.
    I don’t think anybody feels free to say what they are thinking anymore.
    No one wants to be attacked for simply stating their point of view.
    It really is a sad situation.
    Social media isn’t very social, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I too am apprehensive about saying anything on Social Media and instead only stick to conventional posting as much as possible, if that makes sense. I have considered disabling Comments here on WordPress to stop the trolls, but this penalises the good people who make up the majority of the community. If only I could find a filter for Twitter and FB?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A very enjoyable post. Other peoples polarised rantings just makes me feel a bit sad for them that they are so angry over not-a-lot, or angry over stuff that has no direct impact on them. I don’t know why people get so wound up when someone goes off on one on twitter etc. Its a virtual world. I don’t have any public social media accounts. Most of the people who think they having something to rant over are absolute bores, you can find them at social functions if you are not careful. Usually just repeating something they heard or read instead of using their own brain and adding any unique perspective or insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I agree completely. I think people are addicted to outrage: the rush they get from ‘winning’ the argument and, “putting the other guy in his place…” I refuse to play that game. I would rather listen and focus on what we agree on (what we have in common) than brow beat and humiliate someone into agreement.

    Like

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