Today is not a good day to be online for me.
There’s so much hate going on over a simple vote for “Best Hero” on MTV, with votes counted with every tweet bearing the chosen hero’s hashtag. And while I tried to distance myself from it all, it made me think of how people like Kristen Stewart must feel when they see or read so much hatred and judgment online for a character, or characters, they’ve played, or worst, for being themselves, warts and all.
It makes me wonder how one can really shield oneself from such bad energy and manage to wake up each day with a smile. Or even the barest shred of faith in humanity.
The personal attacks and opinions expressed about Miss Stewart are quite disturbing at times. And it reminded me about how a group of people can wield so much power collectively, as on Twitter, using that power contained in 160 characters.
Crowd psychology is a branch of social psychology. Ordinary people can typically gain direct power by acting collectively. Historically, because large groups of people have been able to bring about dramatic and sudden social change in a manner that bypasses established due process, they have also provoked controversy. Social scientists have developed several different theories for explaining crowd psychology, and the ways in which the psychology of the crowd differs significantly from the psychology of those individuals within it.
The above statement is from Wikipedia, about crowd mentality and this was what came to mind today when I saw the venom directed not at the character of Snow White, but on Kristen Stewart.
There is so much power to be had when we sit behind a computer screen, anonymous behind our avatars, as we sit comfortably in our homes. When we find a group, we become stronger, and that strength can be used for good or bad.
It’s when it’s used for the wrong reasons that it becomes its ugliest.
And it’s made my stay online today brief – which for those of you who enjoy the power of finding yourself in the crowd, using your collective strength for good or no – a good thing.
For I won’t be boring you any more of my opinions for awhile.