In 2018, everyone is familiar with the outrage culture that permeates the Internet. This constant stream of an angry, mob-like mentality is easy to spot on a daily basis. We scroll through our Twitter timelines to see one person upset by one thing and three minutes later it has made it's way to the trending page, with hundreds of tweets in support. But what are we actually angry about?
Many view outrage culture as a development of "social justice warriors" being offended by everything under the sun. That's not how I see it. I see outrage culture as an inherent danger to the conversation that many of us who are passionate about social justice are trying to have. People misinterpret criticisms of the largely racist, sexist, homophobic, transmisic, anti-indigenous society that we live as mere complaints. These criticisms do not stem from a need to find something to be angry over, but instead from a desire to make a difference, to educate, to start a dialogue.
To demean those who are willing to question injustices completely derails the intentions behind it. Even worse, there are those who mock this movement by finding the most obscure thing to be "offended" by and demonstrating it as equivalent to those truly outraged over serious topics.
While this misinterpretation of true concern distracts from the real conversation, the mob mentality that the Internet has bred poses just as much danger. The experience of watching thousands of people rally against someone in just mere minutes is one that has definitely become common. Logan Paul is a prime example of this concept. His antics in Japan were completely insensitive, disgusting, and inappropriate. He disrespected the entirety of Japanese culture with seemingly no remorse and there is no excuse for his actions.
Once Twitter caught wind of his vlog that day, it spread like wildfire and rightfully so. The problem, however, lies in the fact that this anger is often misplaced.
People quickly joined in on criticizing Logan Paul because everyone else was doing, some even sending him death threats. But how many people truly recognized how harmful his actions were? Was everybody in agreement about how he violated the sacredness of Japanese culture or was it merely something to be angry about? Was it true concern about what content the children of this generation are consuming or an obligation to grab a metaphorical pitchfork as quickly as possible?
This mob mentality can be harmful too, as it can divert the attention from the systemic problems at hand to an opportunity to simply be angry at someone.
Outrage culture in combination with this mob mentality creates an inability to see things for what they really are and keeps us from thinking for ourselves sometimes.
So, what are you actually angry about?