What does it mean that we live in a society of outrage?

What does it mean that we live in a society of outrage?

One inflammatory statement after the next, we live in an age of rage and angry arguments at the drop of a hat.

We are beside ourselves with frustration with all the sensationalized information that is shoved down our throats.

We are left drowning, lost in the sea of information, unable to cope with the exorbitant knowledge found on the Internet.

We push back simply to push back against what one person claims as truth, and we have become so sensitive and so ready to hop aboard any thread of angry messages.

We are so ready to pick fights against anything that is even remotely questionable, only to have it be blown up and out of proportion.

We live in a society of outrage.

Now, what does that mean exactly? As technology and access to information have expanded in the modern world, they have also cost people the weight of knowledge. In its early creation, technology was dreamt up to advance the world and enlighten people so as to increase their tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. No one could’ve ever imagined how their wonderful gift to humanity could chip away at the intellect of society

With the development of the Internet, relationships began to thin, and suddenly, 800 of your closest friends know your every move and decision. The wall between us and information was then torn down, and suddenly, a flood of texts, opinions, politics, world problems, and tragedy came crashing down on people’s heads. From then on, things changed.

Through social media and the Internet, we can only see a virtual representation of who someone is: a shadow of the real thing. Without seeing facial expression and having the ability to see them as an actual human being, they are totalized in our heads as that one statement, one post, or one opinion they made online. They are dehumanized and concisely summarized by the statement of “they are such bad people.” We see the world out of context and are incensed by a single dispute, given the courage to fight back because of the screens we are able to hide behind.

A point that author Mark Manson brings to light in his article “Living in the Age of Outrage” is the idea that we are “addicted to outrage.” The satisfaction of having the correct opinion, being on the right side, or outsmarting someone is just too good to pass up; so every opportunity to get high off of being right is snatched up. Prejudice and entitlement soon follow the outrage, making us believe that the world owes us something or that we have been deprived of some form of equality.

On a similar side note, Francis Chan in sermon illustrates the idea that we are taking the bait that is being dangled in front of us, enticing us to give in and be led astray. Although he was referring to another side of a comparable argument, his depiction remains valid in terms of our reaction to the world.

Splashy headlines and aggravating stories are a temptation that we are so susceptible to, and we click every one of them to be more and more up-to-date on the happenings. Whether or not they are truthful and not one-sided, they are exploited to target our insatiable desire to know everything. The world we live in now is driven by our need to be angry and feel like we have a purpose, while we are slowly losing all resolve to the weight of knowledge. We live in a society of outrage.