Rage has been festering for a while now: on message boards, in comments sections, among the merely single-digit amount of Facebook “likes” for that picture of your nephew’s neighbor’s three-legged rescue dog. The people are angry, and they will be heard! Whether they’re right or not! Whether they’ve read the whole article or just the headline!
It’s official: the internet is Westeros and everyone on it is King Joffrey. What I’m saying is, rage is all over the (virtual) place and I believe I’ve found the reason for it: as discussed in my last post, we’re all pretending just a little too much. Our online personas are a re-imagined version of our actual personas, to varying degrees (typically relative to how much time you spend on Pinterest). This careful curation comes part and parcel with having a free, always-available forum on which to express ourselves. But just how little realness are we serving?
You’d never allow the fakery of it all, the maintenance of the mirage, to get to you, right?
Me neither! I’d never frequent a blog just to bone up on my virtual shade-throwing skills. I’ve certainly never visited the comments section of an online article to insult the mother of someone who disagreed with my point of view. And I wouldn’t dream of using a Facebook comment as a weapon of passive aggression. Nor can I imagine taking a screen shot of someone’s status update and texting it to a friend and adding, “<<<IDIOT.”
So if we’re all going to continue communicating through screens and experiencing only internet-generated emotion, we might as well embrace it and learn how to do it right. Which is where I come in, for here I give you: How to Do Anger Online. As alwaysyou’re welcome.
1) Open a Twitter account, then follow only people you hate. Some call this trolling, but for the purposes of this article, let’s agree to view it as more of a human improvement project. For other humans, natch. This way, you can get angry every day over the fact that Ricky Gervais is still an atheist, or Hollywood is still liberal, or Justin Bieber is still alive. And you can drop hateful comments on their page which might even get you quoted on Jimmy Kimmel!
2) Adopt a pet cause about which you know nothing and proceed to pimp it all over your various social media accounts. Extra points if it’s something political, like gun control or health care or Obama’s weightlifting technique. Make increasingly vitriolic comments about people who disagree with you on this issue, insulting their family members and/or intelligence whenever possible. This technique is more effective if said issue is the ONLY thing YOU EVER POST ABOUT EVER. (Ugh, there are so many people I want to tag right now. Like, me five years ago.)
3) Post an article (that you haven’t read, of coursewho has time?!) citing new research on an old yet controversial topic, like breastfeeding or vaccines, with the headline SEE? I TOLD YOU SO. ALL OF YOU IDIOTS WERE WRONG. Then tag all the people with whom you’ve argued about this topic over the years. Bonus: lifting the article from a less-than-reputable source. You know what I mean: less JAMA, more Us Weekly.
4) Stay involved with current events by visiting the comments section of online articles and just read through what people who have the time to leave comments for online articles have to say for themselves. (This activity best accompanied by a stress ball and glass of liquor.)
5) Visit Pinterest. Compare the pictures to your own life, then try to recreate them, and let the cycle begin anew. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Follow these handy tips and you’ll become a professional internet rager in no time, tossing hate-bombs like it’s your job and the rent is due tonight. The key is to remember, above all things, to find your self-worth onlinein the comments, “likes”, and approval of other people, particularly those who don’t even know you. The alternative? It’s a frightening one: actually being yourself, putting THAT out there, and living in the vulnerability that true community brings. HA! Pass the comments section, please!