Humanity Wasn’t This Angry 20 Years Ago

Credit: Dima Sidelnikov

I remember a time when people looked at the sky when they went outside …

… when they could order a pizza by calling the pizzeria without having a panic attack because they couldn’t just use the pizza app

… when young people would look you in the eye when shaking your hand

when people didn’t get pissed off a dozen times a day because of the tweets they read

… when self-esteem had nothing to do with “likes”

… when young people had best friends

… when families talked at the dinner table

… when people dealt with people as people instead of as the idea of people

… and 20 years of cell phones and social media hadn’t yet destroyed 200,000 years of homo sapiens sapiens’ general goodness and basic human interaction.

No one can change the world with a tweet; they’ll frequently just infuriate people with it. But with this new device and with these new forums, we think the world cares.

Scroll through the comments of ANY online forum, and you’ll find argument, insults, trolling, abuse, and unkindness in spades. Yes, you’ll find good, as well, but the juicy stuff is in the hostility, and the comments pile on those threads.

Fifteen years ago, most people didn’t get pissed off a dozen or more times a day. Now, with our neural and synaptic pathways formed around constant anger and outrage from interaction with a small part of the entire world, we’ve become entirely different people, and we don’t remember the boring and pathetic sky-watchers and hand-holders and casual talkers we used to be. The phones are where we put our thoughts, and they are often such angry thoughts, directed at bots and the idea of people.

In a mere 1/10,000th of our time as an evolved species, we have changed the brains and attitudes of much/most of ourselves (depending on who it is). Being angry much of the time is nothing any psychologist would term “healthy.”

We live in a time like never before. For our health, we should give up our self-importance and strive to live in a time that once was.

Shame on us for hating others and hurting ourselves.

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