Outrage Culture Online Is Dangerous In Real Life

Outrage Culture Online Is Dangerous In Real Life

No, it's not a joke.
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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?

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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To Love a Broken Vase — An Ode To Valentine's Day

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." --David Viscott, How to Live with Another Person, 1974

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I remember an anecdote my elementary school teacher told us in the fifth grade. When a mother is pregnant with a child, they feel comfortable in their flesh. Provided with everything they needed to survive, they don't have to worry about anything. It's not until after they are born and the umbilical chord is severed that they realized they were not good enough, and insecurities fester.

I went through a similar process when I was growing up. Contained within my family and books, I felt like I held the world in my hands. It was not until high school where I seriously sought out others for company and wanted to apply myself to the social universe. And I saw myself changing in not only my behaviors, but how I see myself within the world.

With working hard to get good grades, with trying to get my driver's license, and becoming a better person overall, I realized the process involved a lot more effort than I ever had expected. And I found myself unprepared for the slow drudgery of it all. While I once pushed through to get things done, now I find myself giving up on projects while coming up with new ones. I frequently turned to my laptop for solace, as it kept my fantasies alive, but it also stole time away from me.

These behaviors showed in my relationships: I found it hard to meet up with friends, and my parents started worrying about what would my future look like. With the latter, I've had multiple conflicts with them, with me asserting I wanted to be free from everything, including accountability. Of course, that perception was quite unrealistic — to love and be loved, as well as to succeed, there has to a tug to know when you're doing something wrong.

***

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I saw romantic love from somebody who has never been in a relationship. Many things still apply today — I'm better off working towards my educational and career goals than seeking out love, though with Valentine's Day, it still fascinates me on whether or not I could be loved from somebody else.

From what I've heard from others, they would be charmed by my intelligence and kindness, neither fulfilling the stereotype of a nerd nor the perfect angel. However, the naivete would also put someone off, and potentially puts them in danger. I also see myself as the spontaneous type, but to the point where I forget where my priorities are, again making them worse than they really are. I imagine they would be intrigued by me as a friend or a lover, but end up breaking away after a short amount of time.

I don't imagine finding myself loving other people in the short term; however, I find myself open towards others. And that what makes me more afraid about how people view me--will they not be able to see the positives in myself when the time comes? Will they be just as capable of forgiving me the same way my family does?

At the end, I should take my friend's advice for Valentine's Day — love oneself. And take actions to make sure that I can love myself deeper and further.

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