Monday, August 15, 2011

Internet Snobbery

It's funny how with the advent of widespread internet usage, people seem to suddenly have opinions about every single thing on the planet. And with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, they want to voice their opinions regarding every miniscule thing and foist them down everyone else's throats.

And, God forbid, should someone not agree or not like what they have to say, well, they're ready to defend their opinions till their dying day, in their chat lingo, on every internet forum available to them.

Frankly, I am about tired of these internet wars. They seem to serve no purpose in life other than boosting people's egos and wasting people's time.

Watch any YouTube video, and there will be a war in the comments section. On topics totally unrelated to the video. Pick up any random status update on Facebook with any observation or comment about anything, and there will be at least one person in the comments who begs to differ. And then they will both proceed to squabble and establish their superiority over each other.

Like this:
Source: here

I wonder what ever happened to the notion of having "differences of opinion" ....and just leaving it at that? Never heard of the saying "to each his own"?

There's a new culture developing amongst people these days, I call it "Internet Snobbery". These are people who think that "I am smart, and so if I feel like this, I am right, and everyone who doesn't agree with me is a dumb loser". It's just not done.Why can't people accept that everyone is going to have a different opinion about everything and just let it be. Whenever someone says something on a virtual platform, someone else will have to disagree and call him a dumbfuck and laugh at him for saying that thing.

I am all for sensible debates about important issues where both sides benefit and it broadens everyone's point of view regarding the issue. But just putting down someone because you don't agree with them and carrying around a "holier than thou" attitude all the time is so not done.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But constantly squabbling, disagreeing, and insulting what someone else says/thinks/writes, is just bad etiquette, and it's irritating as hell. I just don't see how it's justified in any way.

I know it's considered good to call a spade a spade, but what if no one wants to hear YOU call their spade (which may or may not be a spade), a spade? Wouldn't it be better to just leave them alone, then? Rather than going to their blog or Facebook wall and shouting "THIS IS A SPADE, THIS IS A SPADE", when no one wants to listen to you. Did they ask for your opinion about their spade, seriously? Then why can't you just ignore their spade, for once, and go do something more useful? So what if he's got a spade and he doesn't know it? Let him live his illusion. You just go live your life. When someone asks you for your advice, then you can call a spade a spade.

I know that people might be ignorant and stupid at times, and you might feel the need to banish their ignorance by snobbishly proclaiming, what, in your opinion, might be the better point of view, but do you really always need to proclaim your opinions to others?

There's this obsession we all are developing for instant gratification by getting people to like our status updates, or agree with what we say, and love what we love. It's scaring me.

I am not even saying that I haven't been guilty of everything I am writing about. I am pretty sure I have. And I am not being diplomatic over here. But now I am finally realizing how pointless squabbling over the internet can be. And how short lasting this instant gratification thing is.

I mean, is it really necessary to even HAVE an opinion about everything? For example, here are some things I have no opinion about. I don't care enough about them to have an opinion.

Justin Bieber. Indian Cricket team. Independence day. Politics. Economic depression. Saifeena. Your relationship status. Gay marriage. And probably a lot more.

See, it's just so much more easier to not care. Why rack you brains, come up with an intelligent sounding opinion, and then bombard it on others?

Writing this post reminds me of the Jain Principle of Anekantavada. That is one notion that has always fascinated me to no end. Translated literally, "Anekantavada" means "no-one-perspective-ism," in other words, the multiplicity and relativity of views. By this, they meant that in many cases the arguments proposed by the various participants in a debate all hold some validity. It is the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth (Yes, I just copy pasted that line from somewhere). It basically teaches you to accept other people's points of view and allow that they might be true in their own right and within their limitations.

This principle is best explained by the story of the blind men and the elephant. (Source: here)

 "A well-known story from Jain mythology helps to illustrate Anekantavada. Five blind men have never seen an elephant. When one day an elephant is brought to the village, the five approach, touch and attempt to describe it. One man, who is standing by the trunk, describes it as a thick branch of a tree. The man who feels the tail disagrees, insisting it is rather like a rope. The man who touches the side, in turn, submits that the elephant is actually like a great wall. But the man at the elephant's leg says it is like a pillar, and the man who gets hold of the ear describes it as a huge fan. Luckily, a wise sixth man is nearby to mitigate the dispute. He proclaims that, in fact, all are right, but only partially right. An accurate description of the elephant lies in combining the various partial views. Consequently, a complete understanding of any truth requires the consideration and acceptance of a variety of viewpoints."

Yeah, I know, it's sort of difficult to understand this principle. I don't think I actually have, till now. But it's definitely fascinating.

I realize I may have veered off topic.

Moving on.

I also strongly believe that if you don't have something good to say about some particular thing, it is better to say nothing, rather than to say something bad. But then, that's just my personal opinion. I will not force it upon you. I guess.

But then, what did I just do by writing this post? I don't know. I give up. :-P

So then this is the end of my rant. Just rest assured, that I won't be participating in any internet wars from now on.

How have you all been? Let me know :-)


  1. If I say something against your views, I did what you are 'tired of', if I appreciate then I would be 'boosting your ego'.
    Kind of counter-intuitive to have the comments section then. Just a comment, no war.

  2. Lol. Right you are.

    But since you left a comment, I know you read this post. So that's one good thing.

    Otherwise I should just disable comments for this post.

  3. can't disagree with you on this:)

    Weakest LINK

  4. Aayushi I mentioned you on my blog! Go check it out :-)