Heroes

The science of why the comment section on just about anything is so awful

We're people. People have feelings. Feelings make you do things. Things that are not always the best things.

The comment section. It's where angry people go to express how angry they are at whatever they're commenting on.


Unfortunately, one of the side effects of anger is that it makes you dumb.

No really, it does.

Angry people tend to rely on cognitive shortcuts — easy rules of thumb — rather than on more systematic reasoning. They're also quick to blame individuals, rather than aspects of a situation, for problems. — Harvard Business Review

Anger also (surprise!) makes you mean and over-sensitive.

Even when the object of subsequent judgments bears no relation to the source of one's anger, anger increases: (1) a desire to blame individuals, (2) tendencies to overlook mitigating details before attributing blame, (3) tendencies to perceive ambiguous behavior as hostile, (4) tendencies to discount the role of uncontrollable factors when attributing causality, and (5) punitiveness in response to witnessing mistakes made by others. — European Journal of Social Psychology

And when you sprinkle a little online anonymity on top, you get something amazing awful.



Angry people being angry at each other and making each other angrier. And then they angrily tell other people how angry they are so more people can be angry with them.

This

becomes this

becomes this

and exactly zero productive discussion occurs.

Everyone is too busy

  • blaming individuals
  • overlooking mitigating details before attributing blame
  • perceiving ambiguous behavior as hostile
  • discounting the role of uncontrollable factors when attributing cause
  • and being punitive in response to mistakes made by others

just like they said in the study mentioned above.

So it's no surprise that anger is one of the most effective ways to get us to share things online.

Anger may be a particularly effective way to get people talking, but as the video shows, there are a lot more emotions that can be involved.

Some University of Pennsylvania researchers scienced it up and figured out we humans quite like feeling things. This chart from the video is based on their research and shows what motivates people to share things.

Knowing what you know now, it might be tempting to look at everything on the Internet like this:

The Internet is trying to manipulate you and that's OK. There is nothing wrong with wanting to share emotions.

Sometimes sharing emotions can make something really, really good happen.

Did you see this last year?

If so, you're in a club of over 12 million people. And you know what they did?

Upworthy didn't do that. A bunch of really emotional people did that. They felt things. They shared them. And then they helped try to make the world better by donating their own money.

So share all the feels! (But maybe share anger less loudly.)

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

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How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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