My Theory
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Posted 7/10/13
So, I've had this idea about things like hate, negativity, and tragedy.

We're always asking why the world is filled with so much hatred. Well, I think it's because humans are obsessed with it. How many YouTube video comments have you read that didn't have some kind of hatred or arguments or general negativity in them? There are a lot of "this band sucks" or "this band is much better than this band" or, to relate it to anime, comments on anime videos that say things like, "how can people watch this show?" There are videos featuring rants about whatever people like to rant about, "worst of" videos and videos about tragic things that happen in life. I've seen comments and videos like these all over YouTube. Here on Crunchyroll, I've seen comments about how much School Days sucks, the "popular animes you can't stand" and "most hated anime character" topics and others like them. Over on Goodreads (another place I frequent) there are tons of reviews on books about how much the reader hated the book, but they're not critical reviews, they're just pure hatred. They have lists that are user-created, but a lot of them are "worst books ever" or "should never have been published" and other similar lists.

Then there are tragic news stories. Mass shootings/bombings, murder investigations, kidnapping investigations, people doing stupid things, and whatever else. The the Aurora theater shooting happened, everyone was obsessed with it, more so here in Colorado. Then the story about Jessica Ridgeway (might be more of a Colorado thing). Then the Sandy Hook Elm. Shooting. And then the Boston Marathon bombing. And so many other tragic stories on the news. People always say, "we need to put an end to this!" But, is that truly what we're thinking? I dare to say, "no". We want these tragic things to continue happening, because every time one does, all you hear is, "did you hear about what happened?" Or, "I was so closed to that but thankful I wasn't there." Or, "I wonder if any progress has been made on that case/trial." Or even, "My thoughts/prayers/heart go out to all those affected in this tragedy." Tragedies are all anybody talks about as soon as they happen. Especially tragedies involving children and animals.

Now, I can't say I'm not the same way or that I'm better than anyone else, because I have been interested in Columbine for years (even though I was only 7 when it happened). I find the whole story fascinating and have been a good bit of research on it (though am by no means an expert). And I took interest in the Jessica Ridgeway case because she was the same age as my younger sister (and looked eerily like her). I'm not criticizing humans for being this way. I've just begun to notice that hatred and our obsession with it will never disappear.

I try not to blindly hate things with little to no reason, but there are plenty of things out there that I think, "how could anyone like that?" It's human nature to hate. We love hating. Going onto a YouTube video and talking crap seems to give people a sense of satisfaction. Humans are obsessed with conflict and if hatred and tragedies suddenly disappeared, I don't think humans would know what to do with their lives.
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Posted 7/10/13
I agree with you. Thats why I hate life
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Posted 7/10/13
I also believe that, more often than not, when people post about their sympathies going out to people affected by a tragedy, it's completely empty. They say it out of obligation, or in order to get attention, as though they're saying, "see, I'm a good person, I'm thinking about these people I don't know and sending them my prayers!"
Posted 7/10/13 , edited 7/10/13
I agree. I'm not going to lie, I LOVE conflict. Of any kind. But I don't hate on things. Even at times with an absent mind, I just shrug it off if I don't like it. But I do enjoy a good debate!

As for tragedies, I don't really enjoy the thought of it. Every time I hear about one, I just feel numb. I'm not sure what to feel. I do sympathize, whole heartily, but I suppose as long as it doesn't happen to me, I'll never relate or feel anything for those people.
Aryth 
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Posted 7/10/13
Your theory is pretty good! You have just stumbled upon negativity bias!

People pay more attention to negative things more than positive things. Some scientists say that it is because negative things are often times related to things that our brains find terrifying, saddening, or dangerous... So our brains send our attention to it.

You're right about obligation as well. We are trained to empathize with others even when we don't necessarily feel anything towards their plight (that doesn't mean that people don't truly mean what they say, but a lot of times they may not).
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Posted 7/10/13
There's the gossip side of things too. People like to focus on the misfortune of others, because it distracts them from their own misfortune. This is why I never want to be a celebrity, because even if you do nothing scandalous, people will still say things like, "so and so is just too perfect, and I hate them for it." Or, "I'm just waiting for so and so to screw up so I can laugh at them!"

As for tragedies, I can say I love tragic stories. Those are my favorite kinds of books, movies, shows, ect. For some reason, I find them to be seriously interesting, even though they're so depressing. Even the short story I wrote for my creative writing class was tragic. I think it's my own interest in tragedy and the constant stream of tragic news stories that caused me to think up this idea of humans being obsessed with tragedy, hate, and conflict.
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Posted 7/11/13


In my opinion: I don't think that's necessarily true. I think it depends which one you focus on more (good or bad). I'm sure there's plenty of hatred in the world, but there's also plenty of love. And there's plenty of evil, but there's also plenty of good. The world has a way of balancing itself out.

Now I noticed in your examples you mainly stuck to things from online and things on the news. It's been my experience that those two areas have been notoriously negative because 1) Online people generally don't have a face, so they feel they can say what they want without consequence. 2)The news always needs a good story, and chances are that a tragic/negative one will gain more traction than a happy-go-lucky one. I'm not saying all news sources are like this, but I'd say quite a few.

And to say everyone's obsessed with it is very broad because you don't know everyone, so you can't say for sure. The same would go for saying it's human nature to hate. One could just as easily say it's human nature to love as well.

Carlos Castaneda once said something like: "You can either choose to be happy, or you can choose to be miserable. The amount of work is the same.

I believe that applies to seeing good and bad in life too.
Posted 7/13/13
>attempting to create controversy through the net

You've got a long way to go.

As for negativity, people like to go where they can open their release valves for enraged, hateful vitriol. It makes them feel better to shit allover everything they possibly can.
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Posted 7/13/13
I think it has to do with two things. Time and difficulty. Humans, generally speaking, have too much time on their hands. On top of being educated as well, that means people have more time to thing about what they like, dislike, who did what, etc etc. Looking back at history, you'd be surprised at what the mixture of both time and education has done for past nations, particularly wars.

On top of having more time to think things over (especially in middle/high school which is where you'd find the most "hate" anyways) it is also easier to find something you dislike than it is to find something you like and it is more universal. Generally speaking, people don't like other people killing people. Since that is more universally agreed upon by viewers than the upcoming Star Trek convention being awesome, it will be shown more as it catches more peoples attention and obtains more viewers. So media plays on this common evil thing which is starting to get off topic so I'll just leave it as it is. And people don't want other people to suffer (I hope) but if you followed on what I just said, then it'd be understandable as to why it makes for easy conversation material.

As for people not actually caring about tragedies, you are actually quite accurate in this regard. If it does not affect you directly, you are less likely to care because you are less connected to that event. I may not know what it's like to lose everything I own in a typhoon, so when it happens to someone else, that relation is missing so I can't exactly feel as the victim feels and therefore can't truly feel the same way as they do and therefore care less about it (not that I don't care. Tragedies are terrible things).

I hope this sort of helps you (and others) understand why people act they way they do.
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