In an Evernote blog, Chris Hardwick says:
Social media used to be, “hey, I’m awake, look at what I had for breakfast.” Then it very quickly became something where people realized they could get news really fast. So then it became a real, substantive information outlet. And then they started to realize, oh, this can create actual social change.
But now I think social media has really morphed into, unfortunately, a lot of yelling. The loudest voices do tend to rise to the top. I do think there are still very powerful uses for social change on social media, but it’s such a crazy time right now that I don’t see as many superfluous tweets anymore.
As many outrageous things as there are going on in the world, I do think we’re a bit addicted to outrage and social media is sort of the outlet for that. It’s not all negative. I don’t want to paint that picture. But social media used to be just be silly and fun and now it’s heavy. I feel like social media is really heavy right now.
And follows it up with:
Anyone who’s been on a forum since there were forums knows that within two or three lines of any thread—and I’m sure there’s some sort of a formula for this—it just becomes a [cursing] match. Then it just becomes like a shouting schoolyard.
Communication is meant to be in person. It really is meant to be in person. That’s how our brains have developed. We read people’s faces, their expressions, we take social cues, visual cues. We can hear intonation, their audio cues.
When you’re just reading text, a lot of what you’re reading is through the filter of your own baggage. You can infer what you think the writer was intending, but there’s so much nuance and subtlety that’s lost. And then on top of that, people are interfacing with machines, which is very impersonal.
And so, when you’re reading text, if you’re misinterpreting it and then saying f— you back, your brain is thinking that you’re doing that to a machine. Because you’re interfacing with a machine and not a human being.