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Toxic Internet Culture

Not Everything is Pretty Online

April 22, 2021 7:21 PM
Many social media platforms harbor much of the internet's toxicity (Dole777/Unsplash)
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Note: This story was originally produced over a month ago. Information, dates, predictions, and other details may be outdated.

The world we live in today is completely different compared to 10 years ago. We are living in one of the most rapidly changing time periods in history, especially when it comes to the internet. The internet has changed a monumental amount, especially in the last few decades. It went from being something that was used less frequently, and often deemed “nerdy”, among other things, to now being an essential part of everyday life. While it has created many benefits for people and businesses all around the world, it has picked up many users who collectively have created a new form culture online, which, while mostly harmless, has some huge negatives and unhealthy parts of it.

The internet can be an invaluable resource but also a source of distress (Glenn Peters/Unsplash)

One huge negative aspect is the over-the-top idolization of other people to the point of near obsession. Many people devote an unhealthy amount of time and energy to these people, even basing their whole online presence around them. While this may seem harmless at first glance, it can very easily spiral out of control into obsession and can be very mentally unhealthy for the people who partake in it. Often, people tend to act like this towards real people or celebrities. Other times, it can be with a fictional character, series, or even just an average person they have encountered in their life.

Another toxic online trait that has been normalized in recent years is the constant judging of others based on a very small amount of information given to them. It has become far too common to see other people be attacked or judged online because of a single thing or an opinion they say, regardless of how harmless it may be. It has become common practice to paint images of someone in your head based off such little amount of info you got of them. This often is a negative perception of said person and drives people away from sitting down and taking the time to learn about them.  

Of course, there is also online harassment and cyberbullying which has been covered to death by other sources, articles, lessons, and so on. While those things are physically harmless, they do have negative impacts people’s mental health. But what happens when targeted harassment does physical harm? It is becoming much more common today and is encouraged by many people online. It is referred to as doxing and is dangerous for the poor unsuspecting victim. It is when someone’s personal info, which may include their legal name, home address, relative's name, and other information that could potentially lead to something more dangerous, is released to the public.  

We are in the most divided time in the internet’s history, as, now more than ever, people are turning on each other in the online space. Despite this, there is a lot of good that has come from the internet, but, regardless, it is important to shed light on issues such as these.

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