Sunday, July 06, 2014

Rage against the machine...

Are they talking about us, dear reader?

Clicking Their Way to Outrage (NYT)

A 2013 study, from Beihang University in Beijing, of Weibo, a Twitter-like site, found that anger is the emotion that spreads the most easily over social media. Joy came in a distant second. The main difference, said Ryan Martin, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, who studies anger, is that although we tend to share the happiness only of people we are close to, we are willing to join in the rage of strangers. As the study suggests, outrage is lavishly rewarded on social media, whether through supportive comments, retweets or Facebook likes. People prone to Internet outrage are looking for validation, Professor Martin said. “They want to hear that others share it,” he said, “because they feel they’re vindicated and a little less lonely and isolated in their belief.”


Anonymous said...

of course, social media, twitter in particular, are in no small part connected graphs of moral outage.

However, there is a difference between what i would call good reasons to be morally outraged--police brutality,state secrecy,wars--and superficial reasons to be outraged, i.e.what celebrity X said or sports star Y did.

Either way, too much outrage/hate not good for the self

Ricketson said...

So is there any way to direct that frivolous anger at the more substantial targets? Or maybe people intentionally refrain from directing their anger at the institutions that really impact their lives.