Hello fellow internet users,
Has the internet been upsetting you lately? Have you been either very saddened by the onslaught of Trump news or dismayed by angry politically correct overlords stomping on your right to truthfully speak your mind?
Well, good news, you are not alone. Everyone from all sides of the political spectrum are getting trolled, trounced and trumped these days. It’s a thing and there’s a reason; it makes money! Well, not for you, it just makes you miserable. But it makes money for the internet media; the media that makes money from misery, or more generically,”eyeballs“and “views“.
Yes, it’s all about the views and the more we, the silly monkeys, argue, the more money theses internet sites make. Why? Because they make money when you click, share, like, dislike or comment, on their outrageous, offensive, insulting, “can you believe he/she said that” headlines. Yes, they sell your clicks to advertisers because advertisers buy space on sites that get more clicks, eyeballs and views. If you understand what this means then..well..forget I’ll tell you what it means. We’re being played and preyed upon for profit. Welcome to the modern internet!
Good News: Relief Can Be Yours!
Yes, for a large donation to my personal bank account I can help you. Ha. Just kidding.
But just to give you a heads up before I proceed, I have recently been reading a very good book. (no, I don’t get any money for writing this..seriously not a penny) Honestly, I am just excited and relieved that there is a solution for this nagging feeling I’ve been having about going online..and I want to share it in my own words.
The book is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Here’s my review: Read it. Seriously, it’s solid reading for anyone wondering how the internet is f*cking with your life..and how to fix it. For now I’m going to condense it into a few points that may just help get you through the next few weeks without wanting to kill some of your friends who happen to have differing opinions online.
Outrage Porn. Some guy named Ryan Holiday coined it. Manson writes “Rather than report on real stories and real issues, the media find it much easier and much more profitable to find something mildly offensive , broadcast it to a wider audience, generate outrage, and then broadcast that outrage back across the population in a way that outrages yet another part of the population.” Please read that last line twice more…then take a deep breath and let it sink in…because people are making money from making you outraged. If you don’t believe me ask yourself how much more time you spend on facebook when you see some “offensive stuff and you can’t believe it so you just have to comment”. As the author says, this triggers an echo effect of outrage versus outrage, ramping up your emotions, your angry comments and creating a back and forth that just makes people feel more angry and more like enemies. (pssst..and it makes Facebook sooo much money! But I’m not blaming Facebook specifically so just relax..I’m just sayin.)
The answer is Democracy!
Yes, living in a democracy means dealing with people who have different views than you. You may not like someone’s opinion but you should listen to them just as they should listen to you. That’s sort of the whole point of democracy…freedom to speak your mind. And yes being uncomfortable about what someone is saying is part of being democratic. Think about how uncomfortable it is to learn something new?
Sooooo…here’s some tips to help you along the way..and believe me I need these tips more than most because I love a good outrage more than most.
*Approach the news and media with healthy dose of skepticism and ask yourself if you’re being played, set up or encouraged to be outraged?
*Pick your battles, while still trying to empathize with the enemy (person) on the other end…because it’s usually a person..just like you.
*Try to be honest and not right… try to also welcome doubt because you might not be right..you might just have the wrong, or not enough, information; again, remember the media is trying to limit your information to make you angry
*It’s tempting to feel good about being right, getting revenge or being superior but it is a really bad strategy for living a happy life
P.s. If you know anyone who needs to read this article then send it to them as Christmas gift. I don’t give a damn about clicks but one less outraged person on the internet is good for all of us!