Have you ever found yourself going through the internet and coming across a video that you actually like? Then you go to its comment section and feel horrified about the amount of hate and rage people spew out in the comment section. I have felt the same over and over again. Sometimes, internet rage feels as universal as road rage.
Internet or let’s be more specific- the social media, is filled with the types of people who go on to express hate or rage without any accountability. These people are referred to as keyboard warriors.
By definition, A Person who, being unable to express his anger through physical violence (owning to their physical weakness, lack of bravery and/or conviction in real life), instead manifests said emotions through the text-based medium of the internet, usually in the form of aggressive writing that the Keyboard Warrior would not (for reasons previously mentioned) be able to give form to in real life.
The term is a combination of the words-keyboard, the weapon that they use and warriors because of the rage and aggression they show towards others.
Now the main question is why are people on the internet so ruthless? It’s an easy answer-no accountability. People behind the screens can say whatever they want without meeting the consequences and nobody knows them or has seen their faces.
People who rely too much on the internet for social interaction can often end up frustrated and release their stress and anger on people whom they don’t even know. These keyboard warriors are not generally bad people. They can turn out to be some of the sweetest and nicest people in real life. If they ever meet people whom they have targeted on the internet in reality, they may often end up feeling guilty for their past behavior. Then what does internet do for people to behave this way? When you find people, who express dissent with you or your opinions, you will naturally feel a little irritated or you may come off as a bit strong while keeping your point. You may generally not resort to rage or aggression because you perhaps know the person with whom you are having a disagreement with or you may be good friends with the person. As you can see the person and read their body language, you can understand them better and their tone of speaking. While on the internet there is an emotional separation from others along with physical. You may generally not find yourself getting irritated to this extent with people around you. On the internet, it becomes hard for you to treat others as humans and you may not be able to associate any feelings with them.
Internet pages often release articles or posts with certain headlines to trigger an enhanced emotional response from people so that they can get a large number of views. People may feel misrepresented in the article or may believe that it goes against their beliefs. It can be hard to accept new data or information when it may go completely against our opinions which may lead to a heated debate in the comments section.
The comment section then basically becomes a hub for hate comments, death threats and heated debates which may not only be poor for the mental health of the person being attacked but also for the attacker. Hostile comments are often found as an act of defiance. People’s perspective of the article may not necessarily align with the actual content written and this in turn, may give rise to hostility.
But obviously this can not be generalized. There are platforms where people can genuinely talk about or praise the content. This also involves having healthy discussions even if it is in the form of criticism. A power that is left with the user is one of choice. We have the choice to view the content as per our wishes. We can always opt out of becoming a part of hostile or negative comments and also, regulate our viewing options.