A Look At Online PC Culture: Is Your Outrage Legitimate Or Are You Focusing On The Wrong Things?
Outrage is all the—well—rage these days. People are constantly building themselves up into a frothy fury over every little thing that pops up in their trending news feed. Or at least, that’s how it seems. It’s gotten to the point where people are changing their Twitter bios to reflect who has blocked them. Has life gotten so depressing that we’ve reached the point where we openly celebrate the fact we’ve pissed another human being off enough that they blocked us? And not even celebrate it, but put in our bios which means it becomes a part of how we define ourselves? It’s pure madness!
This problem is all over social media but it seems to take front and center on Twitter. Maybe it’s the low character count, constant stream of trending news, and the ease in which we interact with others that brings out the worst behavior. I mean, you can openly bash anyone on Twitter as long as they aren’t a private account or have blocked you. Even worse, you can team up with others and bully strangers for no good reason. But it gets so much worse than simple bullying.
You see, a bully is someone who hurts others to make themselves feel better. But social justice bullies don’t see themselves as bullies at all. No, they think they are doing the right thing by calling out others. Only, this calling out is rarely just, and in most cases it’s completely irrelevant to the cause.
There are countless examples of this throughout the last few years. Usually it involves a person making a crude or offensive joke. They make the stupid joke and almost immediately a large herd of social justice warriors come out of the woodwork and attack the individual. The individual quickly deletes the post, apologizes publicly for being a moron, and then goes into a deep fucking depression because apologizing isn’t good enough for the strangers who attacked them over something so meaningless. And you know what ends up happening in most cases? The individual—who made a stupid, insensitive but ultimately harmless joke—gets fired from their REAL job. All because a group of people who feel they can only get their self-worth from strangers approving of their attacks on “non-progressives” threw a dart at the “offensive social media board” and landed on someone they don’t personally know or will ever talk to in real life. The outrage is getting ridiculous.
Here’s the thing that upsets me: a lot of people stopped reading this once they felt I was bashing liberals. They see the above pic and will start throwing words like homophobic, racist, bigot, Nazi, fascist, or Alt-Right. The funny thing is, though, I always leaned more towards the liberal side on social issues. I’m for gay rights, women’s rights, trans rights, and racial equality. But I’m also against large government, political correctness, affirmative action, and censorship. So, am I a bad guy or a good guy according to the PC community?
Well, I’m a heterosexual white male. That’s apparently the biggest strike one could have in the US today. What it really comes down to, though, is not your beliefs, but rather how you present yourself in public and online. As long as I Tweet “how I’m supposed to” according to the liberal manual of conduct (I just made that up) and suppress my more right-wing views, I’ll be just fine and dandy. This is because the “liberals” who keep attacking people on social media don’t necessarily care about the topics that offend them. They care about being a part of a group and the rush of dopamine they get every time someone retweets their black lives matter posts. Of course, they aren’t thinking about that when they cross the street to avoid the group of black men walking in their general direction. But that’s beside the point.
I don’t want to go off on a rant here, so let’s get back on topic. I want to talk about how to know if the outrage you feel about something is legitimate. For instance, let’s go back to the example I gave earlier about a person tweeting an offensive joke and getting fired as the final outcome. How bad could a joke really be for them to deserve to get fired? Sure, they could be a shitty racist person who reflects poorly on their company and should get fired. But they could also be a normal person who made a bad lapse in judgement and got their life turned upside down unfairly. We’ve all said or done stupid things in the past. We just never lived in a period of time where every move we make could result in major consequences. But in the social media age the slightest mistake can come back and haunt us forever.
That’s really unfortunate, too, because some people screw up and never get a chance at redemption. They say or do something which offends certain people and then get branded with a lifelong label that is unearned. Why do we judge others so harshly, though? None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and have lapses in judgement. Yet, when something happens and there is blood in the water, so many come out to feed.
Another major issue among the super progressive crowd is the lack of wanting to understand. A simple example of this is how many go off in long rambling tangents in the comments section of an article—yet they never actually read the article! They read the headline and maybe the opening paragraph, decide it lines with or goes against their views, and start ranting and shaming and judging and bitching and moaning and…
This way of going about things doesn’t help anyone. You can’t shame others and shout them down to get your way. That’s acting like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum. If you really care about the issues you open a healthy dialogue and LISTEN to the other side’s views. You can’t be biased if you want actual change to occur in society. Unfortunately, I don’t think these hardcore liberals want real change; I think they just want more power.
That’s what most of this social justice stuff seems like. A grab for power and control. This is why you see ridiculous things like the “kids” at Evergreen State College telling the school president to put his hands down while speaking because he was committing a micro-aggression. Then once he put his hands down they fucking laughed at him! That has nothing to do with stopping aggression. It’s all about flexing their power over him in that moment.
Here’s how you know you might be going off the liberal rails and into crazy-town:
- You constantly refresh your news feed and notifications.
- You actively search out things to get “upset” about.
- After shaming someone online for their misdeeds you forget all about them and search for another “offender.”
- You never leave your liberal bubble and only read things that coincide with your views.
- You feel gratification when other liberals praise your actions towards “offensive” people online.
- You aren’t really active in the real world liberal scene.
- You don’t do things to cause real change or help real people.
I’m not trying to shit on liberals here. Seriously. I’m just trying to show how things can go too far. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole once you start feeling accepted by the community. But that doesn’t mean you need to fully commit to “the cause.” Attacking others doesn’t solve the problems. All it does is isolate and hurt individuals.
So, if you want to be a real liberal, here’s a list of things you should do:
- Think about things logically and rationally. If you act on raw emotion you are putting yourself in a bad situation. You need to always be civil, level-headed, and think things through before acting.
- Think about people you consider offensive as people and not an ideology. It’s easy to see a Donald Trump type character saying dumb shit and immediately write them off as racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. But People are much more complex than that. They have varying opinions, families, careers, and dreams. You can’t judge them by one belief or moment.
- Treat others with respect until they show they no longer deserve it. Respect is a two-way street. If someone is being respectful towards you, don’t treat them like dirt just because you don’t share their beliefs.
- Let yourself be open to different viewpoints and beliefs. If you close yourself off from different views you’ll stop growing as a person.
- Separate politics and religion from one’s personal traits. Just because a person has different political or religious views than you doesn’t mean you can’t still get a long with them.
- Remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Just because someone is accused doesn’t mean they’re guilty. Wait until all the facts come out before you rush to judgement.
- Let others have the chance to defend themselves. If you don’t allow others the chance to defend themselves against your accusations, you’re a bully.
- Be open to healthy dialogue. If you aren’t open to discussing issues like and adult you shouldn’t be discussing said issues in the first place.
- Don’t rush to judgement. See number 6.
- Don’t force your opinions on others. Again, this is a type of bullying. You can’t force a person to think like you or believe what you do.
Hopefully you folks can take something away from all of this. I’d love to hear your opinions on the matter. And again, I’m not trying to pick on liberals here. I believe a lot of people start out with their hearts in the right place, but at some point down the line things get out of hand.
It obviously happens on both sides, too. Far too many conservatives act like straight assholes online for no reason. And honestly, most of this advice applies to them as well. But since I’ve never considered myself a conservative, I can’t really speak for that side of things. If you folks have the time, I recommend you check out this recent Joe Rogan podcast with Jamie Kilstein. Jamie was one of these types of liberals who ended up having the progressive community turn on him. It’s really interesting stuff.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below. And while your here, check out these other interesting opinion pieces.