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Has the internet killed human compassion?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I woke up this morning and started reading a story on a local news channel's facebook page. It is about a young journalist from the area who was captured in Libya in 2011 and released, but recently was kidnapped again in Syria. While reading the comments I was disturbed at how many of them were along the lines of "Good..serves him right for putting himself in that situation again. Let him rot" "Idiot...that will show him" "I hope none of our guys get killed trying to save this moron" etc.. *Disclaimer* PLEASE do not turn this into a political discussion...this man's situation is not the topic.

    Another situation on a completely different spectrum... A few days ago there was a 20 car pileup in the state due to weather conditions. A few people were taken to the hospital. Comments on this new channel's page again were things like "Idiots. They should stay home" "Probably texting" "People need to slow down". In the case of an accident a few days before that where a mother and child were in an accident during slick conditions while the mother was on her way to open a daycare center and the child had to be taken to the hospital, comments were the same. No one ELSE would have put THEMSELVES in that situation because THEY have common sense. If anything happens to anyone, it's their OWN fault!

    It honestly has started to sadden me as to the state of human compassion these days. Has the internet, and our ability to read and hear about everything and everyone killed our compassion? Or have people always been the same, but because people can take what they would have normally been thinking to themselves and now express it with a relative degree of anonymity, that we are just now seeing people for how they really are?
  2. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    Has the internet killed human compassion?

    In My opinion , NO, but it has limited human interaction and created a forum for anyone to blurt out sarcastic and/or unsympathetic remarks. Most of us have a little bit of "Jerk" in us. It's easier to express anonymously. Half of what we say online would be expressed by a little more thought first in a real face to face conversation. The keyboard just takes the humanity factor out of the equation. But I could be wrong, Punk
  3. Internet=anonymity=detachment. It's like when a car cuts you off and you curse them- its a car, not a human, right? I've done this and then realized this *idiot driver* was a friend or family member... :rolleyes:
    Also, you will see/hear FAR more of the more extreme examples of this kind of behavior more than the compassionate side- it's more controversial, thus more profitable. Don't let it numb you- compassion still exists, it just doesn't get the attention it deserves
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    This. I dont think the internet has killed compassion, but it has made it easier for jerks to voice their stupid comments.
    IMO, technology has grown at a rate that has surpassed the human intellect. When people catch up, the internet will mostly be used for its true purpose, the sharing of the intellect, and less so for funny cat videos.
  5. Yes. Long time ago you needed resources to get heard across millions of people. Nowadays all you need is an Internet connection. We are drowning in meaningless comments, such as this one.
  6. This. I find that most of the people that comment on threads for news station pages are people who aren't exactly productive members of society. If it's the fault of anything, it is reality TV. From where I'm standing it looks like that may have encouraged the whole "I'm going to judge the **** out of someone I've never been close enough to smell, because I hate myself". See, I did it too, and I'm talking about no individual in particular. It's easier to point out differences and operate on hindsight.
  7. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Has the human race lost all of its compassion for funny cat videos?
  8. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    I think the population in general is desensitized, internet may well be one of the factor that caused it.
  9. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    I don't think the internet is solely to blame, but a lot of research is going on in the field of communications concerning how communications technologies (including the internet) are reshaping our behavior. One theory is that in the past we used to have to deal with all sorts of people because we didn't have much choice. Human beings could only really interact with the people directly around them, so they were forced to interact with people they didn't like. This did two things. First, we learned coping skills to deal with people we didn't like. Second, people we didn't like were humanized, so even if we didn't like them or agree with them they were still human beings to us and we felt some level of compassion for them.

    What all of our communication technologies have allowed us to do is block out people we don't like and don't agree with. So we have a more difficult timing dealing with people we don't like, and what is worse we begin to think of them as something other than ourselves ("those people").

    This was brought up in the last election with regards to the Republicans "echo chamber." I am not attempting to make this political just referencing something that was widely reported after the election and plays into this theory.
  10. AaronMB


    Aug 17, 2012
    Central Oregon
    Bold added. This is really, really important to remember, I think:

    In this day and age of Immediate Gratification via Media (television, WWW, etc) 'attention' is the key word. There's a whole lot of stuff that gets attention and a whole lot that doesn't and it's very, very influential...
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    ... easier for jerks to pass judgement on idiots.
  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Yes, I agree. I don't read the comments on news stories anymore. There are a lot of trolls who love make outrageous comments, I suspect they are mostly adolescents. If you say anything they have no problem calling you a moron, questioning your manhood and insulting you in any way they can think of.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    But seriously, folks, maybe the internet has made it easier to implement compassionate acts. Like getting the word out to volunteers all over the country on how to help the folks in Joplin after the tornado or the east coast after Sandy or Sandy Hook after the senseless slaughter.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    No. Compassionate humans still exist.

    What the internet has done is to provide an OUTLET for idiots. Those people were always here as well. But now they have a voice.
  15. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Yup, and the best way to take any power away from big mouthed louts is to ignore them.
  16. dozicusmaximus


    Mar 18, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Watch, Craigslist Joe.
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Easier for jerks to pass judgement on everyone.

    It absolutely has. As much as its used by idiots to idiotic means, so to is it used by the compassionate to compassionate means. And the intellectual to intellectual means, and the perverse for means of perversion. Its one of those infrastructures that is what you make of it.

    Its on my queue, I just saw it was added to Netflix.
  18. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    These days????

    They bought, sold and brutalized people in this country for a couple of hundred years. Do you think there was more compassion then than there is now?
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    [Liquidmidnight Arrogance Mode on]

    IME, the majority of people are, frankly, uninformed, unwordly, uneducated (and I don't necessarily mean lacking classroom education), highly biased, and extremely myopic. The problem is many also have a very highly inflated sense of their own opinions.

    [Liquidmidnight Arrogance Mode off]

    The freedom of expression that the Internet allows is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because you get to hear music that record companies would not otherwise release due to not being commercial enough and you get to read fiction that publishers may not otherwise publish because it's too edgy. It's a curse because the Internet also gives the people described above a platform to be belligerent with their uninformed opinions. These people can always be found in the comments feed of any news article or YouTube video.
  20. michael_atw


    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    The internet just reveals how disgusting and stupid people REALLY are. That's what I tell my female friends when they use online dating, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media.

    I was just on Yahoo! news about 2 hours ago reading about the Syrian death count estimates. They say 60,000, more than a few comments were people joyfully proclaiming, "That's 60,000 less Muslims".

    The internet is a great destroyer. I always say it affirms the intelligent and reinforces the ignorant. Sadly, others in other countries are reading these ignorant, disgusting, demented comments and attributing it to the average American.

    That being said, DO NOT take them at any value. They are value-less. Don't let them ruin your compassion. I've thought about closing myself off to as much internet as possible in order to wash myself of the stench.