A Perpetual Hate Machine

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

The internet enables us to talk to each other about anythings we want at all times. You have the unusual pleasure of having access to the world’s information at all times, giving you opportunities to learn, to grow, and to share that growth with others. You have the freedom to try and make people’s days better with a kind word here and there.

Desipte this, I’m constantly shocked by how many people use the internet, explicitly social media, to do nothing but talk about all the things they hate. At best, some will find interesting ways to tell others why they hate something, but in general it seems to be lazy, misguided hate that they just have the spew somewhere. Use memes, use fowl language, call people names, threaten people, whatever. Whatever you do, don’t you dare suggest that opinions exist either, make it damn clear that there is the side that is right (you) and a side that is evil (literally everyone else).

This isn’t hyperbole, either. I have my DMs set to private on Twitter because I’ve literally had people tell me to kill myself because they didn’t like an iPhone vs Pixel photo comparison I did. Think about that.

And it goes to smaller things too. I see people who’s Twitter feeds are mostly complaining at brands about how much they hate their products. There are people who @ strangers constantly to tell them why they’re wrong about everything. There are fanboys who you can tell they like one brand because their timelines are exclusively them talking shit about their competitors.

This behavior, of course perpetuates more of itself. When someone tells you they hate you and people like you, then it’s hard not to respond in form. Even if you resist and are kind as hell in return, what are the odds of keeping that up over time as you get hit with this hate everyday? I mean, people are constantly setting limits on their Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/reddit usage (or quitting altogether) because they feel so bad when they use it.

What if you want to just find success as a blogger? Well, the odds of an article where you complain about something is more likely to get traction than something about how much you enjoy something else.

I don’t know how we fix this, and maybe we can’t. Maybe it’s human nature that when given a megaphone, they use it to spew hate, but I refuse to believe this is most people, and it’s certainly not going to be me. I enjoy a snarky tweet as much as the next person, and I’ve certainly written my fair share of negative articles, but on average, I hope that what I produce is positive.

The internet can wear you down and make you feel insane, but I hope this site, my podcast, my newsletter, and even my social media feeds are all places you can go to feel better than you did before (this post notwithstanding, of course). You may not always agree with me, and not everything is about how much I love something, but I hope to create things for the world that build thing sup rather than tear things down.