Human Nature Makes People Assholes; Not the Internet

March 23rd, 2007.

When I was 15 years old, I developed a crush on one of my best guy friends. He was oblivious and his failure to pick up on any of my signals caused me great distress. Teenage girls can often become overwhelmed with frustration and one day, while hanging out with this boy, I suddenly wailed:

“Why do you always make me feel so bad?”

My comment came completely out of the blue and I’m sure he had no idea what I was talking about. However, without missing a beat, he replied, “I only have as much power as you give me.”

Taken aback, my graceful, articulate response was simply, “Huh?”

Suddenly angry, he railed, “If I’m somehow making you feel bad, it’s because you are letting me. You are giving me that power. The only way I could make you feel bad is if you placed more importance on my opinion than you do your own.”

I’ve always liked that exchange. I’ve never been one to relish a victim status and he took that away from me.

I’ve been reading a lot about the Internet and how people have a tendency to act like assholes when they’re anonymous. The theory is the anonymity makes them a jerk. In reality, they’re all perfectly nice people, but the nefarious Internet forces them to behave out of character.

I think that’s all a bunch of bullshit.

The people that buy into this theory are the same simple-minded retards that also buy into the theory that human beings are innately good people. They are not. They are whiny, manipulative, greedy, stupid, jealous, vengeful, selfish cows. Very few people in the history of the world were genuinely kind people.

If anything, it is society that makes them appear nice.

Don’t believe me?

Take a really nice man and give him millions of dollars. Talk to him in a couple of years and see how nice he really is. I’ve spent enough time around people with money to learn that people are only nice when they feel they have something to lose. If a guy has a bank vault full of priceless diamonds, his perception is that he doesn’t need people anymore. It is only then when his true colors are revealed.

The same effect can be produced after giving someone too much fame. Have any of you ever met anyone famous? In my old line of work, I met quite of few actors and actresses. An elitist sense of entitlement leaks off of them in choking waves when the cameras are off. You would literally be shocked at how nasty America’s Sweetheart can act when she doesn’t have a script in front of her. I mean, why the hell do you think they make their nannies and servants sign confidentiality agreements? Trust me, it’s not because they’re afraid their employees will shout from the rooftops all their positive character traits.

Fame and money don’t make good people bad. Fame and money give already bad people the perception that they have nothing to lose by being honest. It is only when someone has nothing to lose that we get to see their true colors.

Personally, I fucking love the Internet for that very reason. If it takes a false sense of anonymity to get people comfortable enough to be honest for a change, then so be it. I value truth over nice.

Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it.

I’m going to switch gears here and talk a little bit about Internet drama. A couple of weeks ago, an altercation happened between two bloggers. A blog called L’undone started getting exposure and the masses started putting two and two together and realized that “lola” was actually writing about The Girl Who. Apparently, Lola used to date The Girl Who’s husband and there was a bit of real life drama when the couple broke up. What follows is a “tale of high-weirdness, big love, cyber crime, and the mutual insane obsession of two people who never even met.”

The drama is even more laughable when you find out that these two ladies are absolutely destroyed because the other one had the audacity to read their blog. Supposedly, this constitutes as stalking now. After that, there is a lot of back and forth and the masses jump into the fray condemning the ladies for being “crazy.”

I still don’t understand what happened that was so crazy. To me, it all looked like typical womanly behavior. After all, should one of my ex-boyfriend’s, girlfriends, best friend, whatever friend, write a blog, I’d likely read it every single day. Because, honestly, it’s not like there is shit else to read on the fucking Internet, so might as well peak into the life of people I indirectly know, right?

The only interesting part of this whole scenario is how the women responded to criticisms. Each wrote long diatribes about how the situation had ‘hurt’ them and cried big clown tears when the obsessive checking of their stats revealed that people they didn’t like were reading what they wrote. When people like Heaven Nose started poking a little fun, posts went missing, hysterical posts would appear in their place, and then those were deleted as well. I watched the whole thing, fascinated, if only because the entire brouhaha is merely a reflection of what is wrong with society today as a whole.

First of all, I’ve noticed that people nowadays lack the ability to take even the slightest bit of criticism. No one considers their own shortcomings in how other people treat them anymore. No one makes any attempt to see the value in a negative viewpoint. Instead, they respond with righteous indignation and are shockingly quick to demand Victim Status. Any opinion that is not presented in a way that the recipient perceives as nice is immediately discounted and the messenger is dismissed as jealous, evil, hurtful, and cruel. And while that may be true of the messenger, that doesn’t mean there is no validity in their argument. Automatically shying away from harsh words on the Internet because you lack the coping skills to deal with a negative opinion of yourself is more cowardly than being mean on the Internet, people.

The flip side to this is putting too much stock in what others think about you. Since I’ve started this website, I’ve been called evil, cruel, hateful, stupid, immature, meandering, a sociopath, a pedophile, a monster. I have not cried myself to sleep. Not once. First of all, I can see merit in a lot of those statements. But more importantly, I can see where those statements lack merit. Ultimately, I am the only expert on my psyche. Why would I value someone’s opinion of myself over my own? Why would I give a nameless, faceless, stranger on the Internet the power to shame me, humiliate me, or hurt me? Why should my self esteem be so fragile that Susie BlowJo from Michigan can completely destroy it with a few casually typed out sentences?

It shouldn’t. But if it does, perhaps you need to look inwardly to find what is lacking as opposed to playing the part of the victim being bullied by the big, bad Internet. The Internet hurts you only when you let it. And people are assholes. That’s human nature and it’s been a given for thousands of years. But that doesn’t make them liars and it most assuredly doesn’t make you perfect.

If you really desire to grow and evolve as an individual, it’s best to glean what you can from the negativity….and chuck the rest.

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