Does The Internet Make Us Evil Or Simply Reflect Our Nature?

Ralph M. RiveraZeitgeist2 Comments

Does The Internet Make Us Evil Or Simply Reflect Our Nature. I often wonder if the Internet is desensitizing us, making us increasingly inhumane, or if the Internet is simply reflecting a lack of humanity.

There used to be a show on the now defunct G4 Network called Attack Of The Show which was required viewing for the geek set. I’d watch the Monday to Thursday episodes while on the treadmill. At first, it was enjoyable, but over time I found myself less motivated to get on the treadmill. Eventually I realized that the show had morphed from a light hearted fun show to a dark and insensitive one.

Every episode started with a segment called Around The Net which featured viral videos followed by commentary. Over time the funny cat videos gave way to videos of people getting hurt while performing dangerous acts such as diving into a pool from the roof of a house. The thing that bugged me was that the hosts would laugh at the injuries. To be clear, none of the videos were fatal, but there were serious injuries. The underlying rationale was always that the participants were stupid and foolish for attempting such acts in the first place.

Don’t we lose a bit of our humanity by laughing at those that are humiliated and injured? YouTube is filled with videos of people getting into fights while onlookers record, laugh and taunt instead of helping. Just yesterday, I saw a video where one man held a sausage in his mouth while another attempted to slice the sausage with a sword. Instead of cutting the sausage, the sword bearer cut off most of his friend’s nose.

To me the footage was horrifying. But to many, it was hilarious. One commentator quipped, “I think the guy nose not to do that again.” Another asked, “Who nose?”

I often wonder if the Internet is desensitizing us, making us increasingly inhumane, or if the Internet is simply reflecting a lack of humanity.

Who nose?

These are my 300 words for the day. I am Ralph M. Rivera.

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Does The Internet Make Us Evil Or Simply Reflect Our Nature. I often wonder if the Internet is desensitizing us, making us increasingly inhumane, or if the Internet is simply reflecting a lack of humanity.

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Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer and founder of Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company based in Holmdel, New Jersey. I founded Rahvalor in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn, and in January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. My primary role is programming and development, and with 25 solid years of marketing experience behind me, I write, consult and develop strategy for our customers. I'm also the CTO of Triberr and I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I live near the coast in central New Jersey, less than an hour from the place of my birth – the island of Manhattan. We are at the constant beck and call of Ash, our 17-year-old American Shorthair cat. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
  • The Internet is another way to dehumanize others and separate “us” from “not us.” Would people react this same way to pain and suffering in person? Maybe a few would. Like the people who take the videos and don’t help. While it may be true that you can’t fix stupid, you don’t have to laugh when stupid gets his nose cut off. That’s just sick.

  • Sad but true: Most likely the reason sites like Buzzfeed are so popular. In the case of people laughing at serious injuries while recording the event for posterity, it’s not a case of misery loves company. It’s a case of serious psychological shortcomings!

    This kind of inhumanity to man makes me want to puke. And it scares me to death to realize there are (alleged) adults who don’t know the difference between right and wrong — something most of us grasp long before age 12.

    Macabre humor is NOT funny. It’s frightening.