Don’t hate, appreciate

Samantha Simmons, Opinion Editor

I’d like to think that all social media apps and websites were built on good intentions. I would also like to think that people don’t hate on others purely for pleasure but, as we can see, social media has been flooded with negativity. One of the most common misconceptions about this negativity is that hate only occurs when the social media user can hide behind the “anonymous” setting. Unfortunately that is not true. Many people stand proud with their attacks on others on sites and apps such as Facebook or Instagram, posting hate on popular pages. Whether it is jealousy masked as hate or a desire for attention, people who advertise their negative opinions typically think their comment will get lost in a sea of praise and it won’t hurt the person getting the hate—another misconception. Seems to me we don’t know much about our hate on social media.

Hate is a serious issue in today’s developing society and we are blinded towards the consequences it has. One thing most people forget when commenting ugly things on popular social media pages is this: you do not know the person. Too often do people post comments on the Instagram posts of Kim Kardashian or that one really indie chick whose captions are always Nirvana lyrics, while claiming that we know something substantial about their life or their personality. Whether the comment is praising or hateful; it is a lie.

“Kanye is sooo funny!”

“Acacia Brinley is a wh***.”

“She probably doesn’t even know the drummer’s name!”

Commenting something doesn’t make it true… so why do we do it? Why continue to follow them if their posts are really that insufferable?

“You have to despise this person just enough to keep on eye on them, hoping they eventually go down in social media flames,” explained Darryl Ohrt, global creative director at Mash+Studio, an experiential agency located in New York.

The joy of watching them burn is just the first reason for this so-called hate follow. Psychologists have also found that you will continue to follow someone you despise because of familiarity– you see traits and tendencies you have and can’t stand. Finally, psychologists have noticed that “hate” is associated with the “approach method.” This basically means that people feel the need to confront things they hate, while they just ignore things they merely dislike.

Now that we know what causes our seemingly uncontrollable hate, how can we stop it? I suggest keeping a space on the notes section of your phone so that when you feel compelled to comment something nasty, write it there instead. That way no one will get hurt and you can evaluate your comment later on to see if you feel the same way about the person. You never know where someone is in their life so make sure to stay positive for the sake of them and for the sake of your reputation–you never know who’s gonna see your comment!

Don’t comment anything on someone else’s page that you wouldn’t want them to comment on yours. Just be kind and stay positive.