Social Question

gemiwing's avatar

Why are emotions considered 'bad' online?

Asked by gemiwing (14708points) May 20th, 2010

I’m on several websites/blogs/boards etc, and it seems that whenever someone is upset, without fail, someone else will come along and tell them to shut up/grow up/get over it and the like. I’ve seen happy people told to go ‘f’ themselves, suicidal people told to ‘go ahead and do it’.

Why are online displays of emotion considered uncool or stupid? I could understand this if it was only on immature boards that I’ve seen this behavior- but I’ve seen it on communities that would normally consider themselves open and safe.

What do you think causes this mentality online?
I’m not just talking about calling people names, I really mean the whole idea that anytime someone shows real emotion it is seen as uncool or overreacting, even with evidence to the contrary.

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22 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m not a huge fan of unreasonable emotion anywhere but I do think the examples you provide are people being: a) insensitive b) incapable of seeing that what makes them upset about others’ emotions is a reflection on their own problems/inability to articulate them. Here, on fluther, I’ve seen people respond in a positive manner to genuine emotion – it just has to be relevant to them.

tinyfaery's avatar

Unreasonable emotion? Uhh…all emotions are unreasonable.

And FWIW, people are as you described in real life, as well.

gemiwing's avatar

@tinyfaery Why do you feel emotions are unreasonable?

tinyfaery's avatar

Reason is a product of our intellect not our emotions.

eden2eve's avatar

Whether or not people are discomfited strong by emotions, it’s just plain WRONG to be that rude and insensitive!

If people don’t want to read or deal with others’ emotional issues, they can just ignore them. Nobody is forced to read anything.

Who knows how those intemperate comments might feel to the person who is experiencing some crisis, and why would someone want to add to their distress? I just don’t get that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

“I quite enjoy alittle passion”-Fabio

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tinyfaery No, not all emotions are unreasonable. Say, your girlfriend cheats on you and you feel angry – that’s justifiable. Otoh, say someone gets upset over a user being banned on fluther and calls the mods Nazis out of their emotional response – that’s unreasonable.

gemiwing's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Wouldn’t reasonable depend on the individual and their life experiences? If one’s GF cheated on them because they beat them everyday- would that still be reasonable? It’s so fluid and murky.

DominicX's avatar

Are we speaking of revealing emotional situations in real life to an online community or are we speaking of getting emotional because of things online? With the latter, the response I often here is “it’s just the internet”. Well, if’s “just the internet”, you (person who says that) shouldn’t mind me calling you an asshole for being one.

gemiwing's avatar

@DominicX I suppose both, in a way. We’ve all seen someone share something emotional online (that happened to them off-line) and then someone comes up behind them and says something like ‘stop whining’ or the like. Same for when someone gets upset (or even really happy) about something that exists only in the internet.

I suppose I mean how showing any emotion beyond ‘meh’ online is considered bad somehow. You either get labeled crazy, overeactive or a fan boy.

tinyfaery's avatar

The emotion is not unreasonable the choice of what to do with that emotion is unreasonable. I can reason why (intellect) the Nazis did what they did but I cannot justify it (emotion). I guess we are using different definitions of what reasonable is.

gemiwing's avatar

@tinyfaery There I think we can agree. So do you feel it’s the way people show emotion that will have others label them as they do?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tinyfaery I agree that, to me, it matters how one deals with their emotions.

tinyfaery's avatar

@gemiwing I think people are very insensitive to the emotional life of others simply because of the impact that emotion has on other people. People don’t want to here that every moment of the day you feel like dying (for example), they just want you to take care of your “responsibilities” and STFU. It’s so much easier to do that when you don’t have to look someone in the face.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think it’s an American thing to want to be able to affect or fix anything not going right and if you can’t then you don’t want to know about it and feel ineffectual. It seems so hard just to say, “I’m sorry this is happening to you and I can’t do a thing.” So few people want to admit they have a full plate themselves and maybe aren’t strong enough or in the position to give so they retreat or wish adversity away.

My heart goes out to people dying from genocides around the world but my immediate reality is keeping my mother and myself fed, sheltered, clothed and able to get to work so we are not made homeless. I am not guilty I’m not plugged into blogs or talk radio about others right now.

YARNLADY's avatar

Since there are many sites that are set up to help people with tips and ideas, people who are serious about their issues can use them. If they use a social networking site to proclaim their emotions it is more for the dramatic effect.

zenele's avatar

I, for one, always maintain my composure.

perspicacious's avatar

Because most of the people whining about these things are making it up for attention. Sharp people pick up on that. Serious problems need serious solutions and that doesn’t include Q&A sites.

mattbrowne's avatar

Misunderstandings. There are more risks online.

tinyfaery's avatar

@perspicacious proves my point, exactly.

Silhouette's avatar

I noticed this when I first started using social sites and I didn’t understand it until I witnessed my first Internet death hoax, followed by an online suicide threat. There are some who use sites like this to emotionally manipulate people. There are some who get off on hurting others with the emotional connections made on sites like this. so, there are some who find the emotions of others risky, and uncomfortable and they lash out. Personally, when I see someone threaten suicide online I think, “Yeah, well what the fuck you telling me for? It’s not like I can stop you from here. I do feel like it’s a manipulation more than a cry for help and it irks me.

I’ve run into more people talking about failing relationships who are online 26 hours a day 8 days a week than I can shake a stick at. I finally came up with a test of sorts, I ALWAYS suggest they log the fuck off and focus on their real life connections and less on their Internet connections. One out of 1,000 are actually asking for help, the others are playing out some sort of martyred romantic unappreciated lover role.

The sad truth is, some peoples online emotions are about as real as their avatars.

flo's avatar

It could be that people in general want an unbiased opinion on things. And emotion gets in the way.

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