Back when I quit Twitter I remember feeling an instant sense of relief, mainly because I knew that by leaving that God forsaken site I'd be distancing myself from the immense hatred which that site contains. All social media platforms are of course filled with hateful people, especially because it is the most angering posts that get liked and shared, but Twitter was by far the worst since short 280 character strings of text are really only useful for expressing hate. There comes a point where you've spent enough time on Twitter that you can't resist joining in on the hatefest, and wasting time getting in pointless Twitter arguments with more strawmen than actual arguments. The very concept of microblogging is one that is designed to make you hateful, social media is programming you.
During the first half of 2020 I had a "friend" on Facebook who had gotten herself quite involved in certain movements. Often she would post images and memes supporting the things that she supported, but it was not long before her pro-x posts turned into anti-y posts. It was getting to the point where had the hateful things she was posting been directed at her rather than the people she believed were her enemies she would have been deeply offended. It was getting to the point where I was concerned about her mental state, you can't possibly be a happy individual if you are expressing so much hate. On the Fourth of July I posted something on Facebook and she unfriended me within an hour, at first I was a bit offended at the idea that she'd kick me out of her life so quickly, I considered sending another friend request but ultimately decided against it because I was sick of seeing her hateful posts anyways.
Protests are another thing I don't understand. Why would anyone want to travel to surround themselves with angry people. It doesn't matter what the protest is about, it will always be shown to the public as a negative thing. Remember, anger is what pays the bills at the news companies, which of these two headlines would you be more likely to click on, "Crowd of beekeeping activists gather at the State Capitol to spread awareness of bees" or, "Angry beekeepers protest at the State Capitol with a dangerous agenda that could make it unsafe for your children to play outside."? It does not matter that the second choice is less honest, that is the one that will sell, and over time that is the one that will ultimately become true.
On the topic of protests I'd like you to read this excerpt from George Orwell's 1984 regarding the Two Minutes Hate which members of the society he thought up all participated in:
The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started.
As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. . . .
Winston’s diaphragm was constricted. He could never see the face of Goldstein without a painful mixture of emotions. It was a lean Jewish face, with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair and a small goatee beard --a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of senile silliness in the long thin nose, near the end of which a pair of spectacles was perched. It resembled the face of a sheep, and the voice, too, had a sheep-like quality. Goldstein was delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party --an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level- headed than oneself, might be taken in by it. He was abusing Big Brother, he was denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Eurasia, he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically that the revolution had been betrayed --and all this in rapid polysyllabic speech which was a sort of parody of the habitual style of the orators of the Party, and even contained Newspeak words: more Newspeak words, indeed, than any Party member would normally use in real life. And all the while, lest one should be in any doubt as to the reality which Goldstein’s specious claptrap covered, behind his head on the telescreen there marched the endless columns of the Eurasian army --row after row of solid-looking men with expressionless Asiatic faces, who swam up to the surface of the screen and vanished, to be replaced by others exactly similar. The dull rhythmic tramp of the soldiers’ boots formed the background to Goldstein’s bleating voice.
Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room. The self-satisfied sheep-like face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically. He was an object of hatred more constant than either Eurasia or Eastasia, . . . But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were --in spite of all this, his influence never seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him. . . .
In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O’Brien’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out “Swine! Swine! Swine!” and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Goldstein’s nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge- hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston’s hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed to him to be true. At those moments his secret loathing of Big Brother changed into adoration, and Big Brother seemed to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector, standing like a rock against the hordes of Asia, and Goldstein, in spite of his isolation, his helplessness, and the doubt that hung about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the mere power of his voice of wrecking the structure of civilization.
As we see here, when we surround ourselves with hate, whether it be online or in person, we will inevitably join in on it, we can't resist. Is this really the way we want to live?
Star Wars Episode 8 is a terrible movie that I will probably never watch again, but it has one of the best lines of any recent movie. The line goes something like, "You don't win by fighting what you hate, you win by saving what you love." (again this is a terrible movie so I don't care if I didn't get the quote right) Everyone should seek to understand and practice what is taught in this quote. You cannot kill hate with hate, hate is only killed with love. Think of the scene in Batman vs. Superman where Batman decides not to kill Superman (yes the scene nobody appreciates and instead makes fun of), it was not some witty political argument or offensive meme that stopped him from driving a spear into Superman's heart, it was the realization that Superman was not a heartless being only capable of destruction but instead a creature motivated by love whose last words could have been a request for the safety of his mother. Superman's love for his mother is what saved him from Batman's hate, it is also what cured Batman of that hate.
Do not participate in any form of hate, avoid situations where you could be surrounded by hate (even hate you agree with), and remove yourself from any website or other place where you commonly come accross hate directed at anything. Hate is what motivates evil, not what defeats it. Only love defeats evil.
Love one another.