Remember the first time you heard the term “Road Rage”? It was a new concept, but you intuitively knew what it meant. I hate to be the one to introduce you to the new term “Internet Rage”, but someone has to be the bad guy and let you know that Internet Rage is a very real phenomenon.
What is Internet Rage?
Have you ever seen an email (or perhaps written one yourself) that is a venting expression of anger, perhaps strongly weighted with expletives? Perhaps you have seen a Facebook post or thread that could compare to Mt. Aetna going off?
Simply put, Internet Rage is the unbridled expression of rageful feelings and thoughts, usually publicly expressed or displayed. Whether or not such an expression is founded or not, it just is, and it is becoming increasingly in our faces as we surf the web.
Why are we seeing more Internet Rage?
With the advent of blogs and social networking, the public is more capable of expressing their opinions. Many blogs and news sites invite comments from their site visitors. If anything in the original blog post or article hits someone the wrong way, the site visitor has the opportunity to express their reaction right there and then in black and white. Another person comes along, reads the blog or article, and starts reading the other readers’ comments. Perhaps they see a strong reaction that they agree or disagree with on the same day that they happened to have switched over to decaf coffee. They realize they can post a reply, again, right there and then in black and white. And so the cycle begins, another reader comes along the same thing. Next thing you know there are hundreds or even thousands of outraged comments on a post or an article. This very same thing happens on social networks such as Facebook.
Positive outcomes to Internet Rage?
Believe it or not, Internet Rage can have positive outcomes. As social media matures, Internet Rage is becoming more issue-focused. An example of this is when Netflix announced on their Facebook page their intentions to raise their prices. The post received over 80,000 responses, most of them negative, several of them rage-full, and the company ultimately decided to not raise their fees.
We have also seen the up-scale clothing manufacturer Versace change its production practices when there was a veritable uprising when the public discovered that a particular fabric processing method had been resulting in the actual deaths of Asian laborers.
And recently there was the incredible victory of the defeat of the SOPA and PIPA bills. Word got out about these sneaky bills that would veritably censor the internet in the financial interest of huge multi-media companies. Anyone could go to their Senator’s and Congress members’ Facebook pages and voice their disapproval. And many did. And many of these comments were not pretty. However, the result was the ultimate defeat of these two bills.
It’s easier to express rage online than in person. You don’t have to deal with a physician in person reaction from those you are expressing it to. However, as we have all seen, some people go over the top with this. Word to the wise: express your dissatisfaction, even express it strongly if you must, but do try to leave the expletives out of it if you want your opinion to be treated with respect.