Constant Outrage is All the Rage

There is a lot of outrage to be found on the internet.

We’re outraged by a reality TV drama.We’re outraged by a photoshopped Instagram picture. We’re outraged by the existence of Justin Bieber.

Difference of opinion? Outrageous. Not doing things my way? Outrageous. Making counter-cultural choices? OUTRAGEOUS.

Constant outrage – particularly vented on social media – has become an epidemic, much like slacktivism.

With the click of a few buttons, a sprinkling of hashtags or sharing of links we can appear knowledgable and well-rounded and opinionated, all without leaving the comfort of our homes. All without doing a lot.

Look, I’m partial to a good rant myself.  But constantly looking for things to be enraged about is exhausting.

  • It’s OK to not have opinions on some things. Really.
  • It’s OK to just keep scrolling.
  • It’s OK to not engage with people looking for controversy.
  • It’s OK to simply ignore the comment designed to rile you up.
  • It’s OK if you aren’t overly concerned by the latest drama on MasterChef.
  • It’s OK if you don’t watch football and therefore really don’t care about the Big Game so, please, for the love of sanity, stop talking to me about it…

It’s also OK if you really care about things and get upset and do something about it.

There are many, many issues worthy of our attention and outcry and action (think bigotry, violence, prejudice, corruption, abuse of power).

But when it comes to the small stuff, why are we always looking for something to be angry about? Why are we sniffing around for a hint of controversy? Why must we be up in arms or hashtagging the hell out of a faux pas?

Constant and empty outrage is pointless. It’s just noise.

Why not slow the outrage and buy yourself some inner peace?

Keep scrolling. Shake it off. Ask yourself if it’s really important to you. Question if it will matter in one day, one month, one year.

Accept that there are things you can’t change. Accept that there are things you can’t be bothered changing. And change the things you can.

 

 

 

20 Responses to Constant Outrage is All the Rage

  1. I used to be that way. Wrote letters to the editor of newspapers all the time. Now (post 50 and for my sanity), I kind of have my head in the sand, but occasionally turn on the news. Felt bad this morning when I found out about Joe Biden’s son. Sometimes I’ll read something on the internet that riles me up. I’ll write a reply, but then delete it. Feels good just to get the thought out of my head.

    Slacktivism…that’s a new one I haven’t heard. Learn something new every day. :-)

  2. Brooke, I’m all outrage! Mostly in my head. My daily reminder is that I don’t have to react. I do stay away from the news whenever I can because I know I need to feel positive and light. I keep my news feed inspirational and just keep scrolling to what brings me joy :)

  3. Joseph Campbell addressed this issue, years ago; “The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.”

    Tessa

  4. I have noticed this inverse relationship between our level of outrage and the amount of effort we would have to put forth to correct the out ring offense. Something completely outside my control or influence? Let me be thoroughly outraged and share it. Something which is within my control that is totally wrong? Well now, that is no big deal — and how dare you judge me on it. Sigh. Oh, Lord, let me be troubled by the shortcomings enough to be moved to action.

  5. I have, more than once, typed a long diatribe in hostile response to something someone wrote on the internet, read it over and then hit cancel before publishing it. Why? Because I thought to myself, “is this really going to accomplish anything other than to spur MORE outrage and hostility?” and the answer was a definitive “no!” so why bother? I agree – more peace, less outrage would do us all some good.

  6. I tend to be outraged by “people being stupid”, and “being stupid” includes being outraged by non-issues (so-and-so is dating so-and-so). For this reason, I mostly stay away from social media (much to the outrage of my IT friends) and I rarely watch the news.

    Another of my pet peeves is people “raising awareness” for things. I am a runner, and there is always a 5K to raise awareness for breast cancer or heart disease or something. I agree that these diseases need funds and research, and I hope that part of the entry fee goes to support that(??). But every time I see someone on TV talking about how they are raising awareness for something, I want to scream “We are already VERY aware of that issue! Tweeting about with #something does NOTHING. Do something useful about it!”

    See? This is why I don’t watch the news. :)

  7. Fab post Brooke. Ive learnt to keep scrolling and not get drawn into online arguments. None of it is worth getting my blood pressure up over. :O)

  8. Brooke, I needed to see read this today, Thanks! There are times when I have to walk away from Facebook, because a topic comes up that riles me up. The thought of choosing our battles is often forgotten.

  9. Internet High Five!
    It’s wonderful to hear someone else say this. I see so many issues that need to be fixed, but I know I’m not the solution to most of them and therefore would be wasting energy devoting passionate thoughts and rants about them. I am more productive dedicating myself to the things I know I am able to change (like my own heart and habits especially).
    There’s a particular hot issue that is prominent in the media and government discussion at the moment, but honestly, I have no opinion on it because I see the rowdiness of my own voice affects it nought.
    I’m with Lorraine too. Occasionally I’ll write a response then delete it simply to emit the thought and move on.

    • Thanks, Naomi! I love this so much: “I am more productive dedicating myself to the things I know I am able to change (like my own heart and habits especially).” Nailed it. x

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