I’m a fairly frequent user of Facebook, as is a huge portion of the world these days. Every time I log in I see an endless reel of friends who have joined this group or become fans of that [insert noun]. I’m a member of a few groups, a few commemorating my home town, a couple for schools I’ve attended, and one or two for family.
It’s not uncommon to see a half dozen or so new groups that friends have joined in the recent past, and I’m continuously amazed at how many of them start with “I hate”. “I hate pretending I like a present when I really Hate it”, “I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who hate the Jonas Brothers”, “I hate the new Facebook”, “I Hate It When Girls Do the Peace Sign and the Kissy Lips in Their Pictures”, “I hate Peyton Manning”, There’s even an “I hate Israel”… You get the idea.
I think that part of the problem is how casually we tend to throw the word hate around these days. Seems to be either we love something, or hate something. What happened to indifference? There tons of things I don’t like, but don’t necessarily dislike, and certainly don’t hate. What about a group called “I don’t mind waiting for people in the car when they go grocery shopping”? or “I don’t particularly care for the Jonas Brothers’ music or TV show, but I wish them no ill will”.
Hate is an awfully strong word, an even stronger emotion and it’s too frequently born out of ignorance. People hate all kinds of things for stupid reasons. Why would over 100,000 people hate Peyton Manning? Honestly? Because his team beat your teams? They’re not even your teams! There’s no way that all the people in that group know Peyton Manning, and have a legitimate beef with him.
This is a case where fans watch as two teams enter a contest, knowing full well that only one team will emerge victorious, and feel the right to act scorned if their team loses. Perhaps they could be justified in saying their disappointed that their team lost, and maybe even that they are upset, but to wish the winning team ill because they did their best?? That’s deplorable.
And what’s wrong with the Jonas Brothers? Granted, I’m not what you’d call a fan… And no, I don’t consider the show entertaining really… But I’m 30 years old. The show, the music and the band itself aren’t exactly targeted at my demographic… I certainly don’t hate them though, and I don’t see why anyone else would. They’re not impeding my ability to live or progress through whatever it is that I’m doing. I’m not threatened by them… They never did anything to anyone who I know.
So we go from no longer having a gray area where we can accept the existence of something we don’t particularly like, but harbor no ill will for, into a black and white love or hate mode of mind. Then things which are completely mundane, like giving the peace sign and making kissy lips in Facebook pictures make our “hate” lists cause we don’t explicitly “like” it.
Hate’s become a joke to us now. We join or start one of these ridiculous groups like “I hate people who…” and we invite our friends to join. Our friends say “haha, yeah me too!” and we say “Yes! More followers!” Their friends see it, and join, etc… So now, we had a silly innocuous thing, and we made a joke out of it by saying we hate it, and encouraged our friends to join us in our opinions. We’ve created a group based on hate, and it’s continuing to grow… Nazi party anyone?
Perhaps I’m over-reacting and looking a little too deeply into this, and maybe these groups are intended to be funny, but I can’t help thinking that this is just a gateway for things to snowball. I can imagine easily that someone with some mental issues may join a group like I’ve said above, and actually become influenced by it, or try to influence others through it. Now he’s got a while list of profiles where girls are making the peace sign and kissy faces he can use as a hit list. At very least he’s got a group filled with people who could potent ally be like minded. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch for him to find a couple others who actually do hate that sort of thing.
People are becoming to quick to call a feeling of distaste or just a simple lack of interest “hate”. They’re opening the door to people who actually may hate something, and giving that person the opportunity to breed his or her hate into others who are just misguided.
Now all I have left to do is create a group called “I hate groups that start with “I hate…”” and find some like minded folks and then I can lead my rebellion against Facebook to change their group creation policies!!
After which, my group would be banned for starting with “I hate”…