Hypothesis That Might Explain Political Hostility in the Internet Age

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Article also available at https://medium.com/non-monetized-together/hypothesis-that-might-explain-political-hostility-in-the-internet-age-26ecedb9c5b4.

I have a hypothesis for why people in the Internet age are so unwelcoming when it comes to politics. It’s a multi-stage process, and I’m gonna lay it out here. You’ve probably already heard bits and pieces of this hypothesis elsewhere already. I’m writing this article in the hopes that you will be a curious citizen and investigate whether the hypothesis is valid.

In the first stage, some left-wing and right-wing media publications show only the most spiteful and stupid examples from both opposing political angles.

In the second stage, a small selection of people from each side acts foolish enough to assume that those examples are an accurate representation of the entire political wing. They make online posts under that assumption. They may also forget that people on the opposing side may come across very different stories, descriptions of stories, and political rhetoric than they do.

In the third stage, people from the other side view those online posts. They get defensive because these posts don’t match their reality and/or because they aren’t aware of the subtext behind the post (due to the differing information they receive in the first place). Since these are personal examples that reflect the negative news coverage they see, the idea that the other side is made up of the brainwashed and the dangerous starts to appear more convincing to them.

In the fourth stage, the people introduced in the third stage start acting in a way that appears extremist to the other side, yet simply natural to someone who believes that their side is under attack. Other people start thinking, “this person must be a threat to society because I never asked to attack anybody, yet they’re threatening me!” As these real-world incidents continue to grow, this ends up appearing to further validate the clickbait journalism from the first stage.

From here on out, the cycle continues repeating. Both sides continue collecting examples and influencing people until the threat becomes real and democracy starts to crumble, despite the only people who actually wanted this to happen being the few outlying examples from the first stage.

This is only a hypothesis, so it doesn’t mean anything until you start collecting data on it. Yet if it turns out to be true, one of the solutions could be to rely on religion/spirituality/philosophy instead of politics. Another solution could be to make Internet posts that highlight the positive potential that opposing political wings can achieve if only they don’t act like the worst examples of themselves.

So go out and test this hypothesis. Look up academic findings, network with members of Nonmonetized Together, research cases and compare them to each other, communicate with people from different walks of life, and attend events.

If you’re too tired to do this, let me know in the comments. If I get one of these responses, I will participate in this research too. I will not only keep notes of the information I collect, but my entire research-gathering process, so you will see what I did that led up to finding the information, as well as research attempts that did not bring up anything useful. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell me they’re tired; most of my articles get either zero or one comments.

Exciting, right? Now start learning!

#Activity #Research #Theory #LeftWing #RightWing