The rise of rage on Social Media

Social media has developed to a communications tool in many areas, such as political campaign, advertising and teaching. However, the use of social media nowadays comes with certain troubles which could be a problem if it is not addressed as soon as possible. According to a social psychology research, readers must have a more comprehensive view of social media and its effects. There are many behaviors and reactions that social media is creating and one of them is rage or anger.

In this short article, I want to share my anxiety about anger in social media which has become a communal behavior that slowly reduces moral values. The more often people see anger in social media, eventually this tone will become an acceptable social behavior. Anger and hatred will then become normal and acceptable.

We notice that, moral awareness is slowly decreasing in social media because of the lack of control and maturity among the netizen (net-citizens). People feel that social media is a (ideal) space where they can express whatever they want at any time and any moment. Universal moral principles are often forgotten when expressing feelings via social media. There is a need to reawaken public awareness to get a wider perspective on anything that’s presented on social media. This universal moral awareness must emanate from oneself.

The phenomenon of anger in social media

As a social media user, I often find posts and stories that express various emotions. Anger is one of the most common feelings that I notice on my accounts. Social media with its wide coverage becomes an arena of emotional fighting. Everyone feels free and unhindered to show what they feel.

Some research shows that anger gets wider influence in social media than excitement. According to researchers at Beihang University in China, rage was the emotion most likely to spread across social channels, possessing the effect that could spark irate posts up to three degrees of separation from the original message. This is noticeable when we observe our social media channels and grasp how viral “angry posts” can go.

Anger and propaganda information are two very dangerous combinations in social media. We often hear where one community group attacks another because of the information they get from social media. Often later its discovered that the information was a actually hoax.

Should I be angry too?

Social media is a public space, therefore everyone who participates has to take responsibility for what he/she says. Sad to say, social media has been manipulated for different reasons, therefore originality of the news always needs to be questioned. In order to win an argument or gain public sympathy, people use a variety of ways to “manipulate” social media such as using bots, fake accounts or clickbait.
Many people that are less educated and familiar with social media, the risk is high that  they do not really understand what is actually presented on social media and they will easily believe it.

So, what to do?

Being responsible in using social media is something that is absolutely necessary. As an active social media users, responsible means to be mature and selective in using and believing social media. Maturity could mean seeing all existing problems comprehensibly rather than take it for granted. Every information that we get from social media has to be questioned so that we are not being intoxicated by the massive information that we receive.

We all have unhealed wounds within us. These are the topics, that will easily provoke us, that we are sensitive about. When social media is used to spread anger and hatred about topics that are important to us, we might be easily carried away by this communal anger. People prefer to spread anger in social media rather than expressing themselves directly to each other. This is because spreading it on social media  automatically invites sympathy from people who share the option and spread the same negative energy.

It is time to take the right attitude around social media so that we don’t fall into the negative energy that’s generated. Being responsible in social media means taking responsibility for ourselves. Social media become a mirror of ourselves. Everything is about me. When you become angry in social media it shows who you are. The source of anger is indeed within ourselves because of the incurable wounds within us.

Sometimes I feel angry seeing all the negative provocation on social media, but do I have to be angry? For me, looking at it from a more comprehensive side is a good way to deal with it, in case of doubt silence is the right attitude. We spend energy and time on something that is certainly not useful and eventually will damage ourselves and the society. It’s time to reexamine our online habits and change them for the better.

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