ADVICE: "How Do I Deal With Negativity On The Internet?"

Every week, New York City's own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

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April 30th, 2014

Dear Andrew,

About a year ago, I started using more social media on the Internet. At first I found it somewhat intoxicating -- a new way of connecting with people and finding out quickly about breaking news. But now I've grown tired of the negativity. It's a constant stream of fighting, name calling, shaming, and just overall vile behavior. You're very active on social media (one of the reasons I started using it, actually) and I'm sure people send you negative shit all day just because they can. How do you not drown in it? Is it possible to be on the Internet and not start to hate humanity?

-- Hope Fading

Dear Hope Fading,

The computer is a mysterious extension of the human spirit. The development and ongoing advancement of computer technology has allowed humans to achieve a truly magical breakthrough. We now have the ability to manipulate and customize just about every aspect of day-to-day life. And while computer power can be applied to a seemingly endless array of human experiences, it seems that this technology has most obviously impacted the nature of human interaction.

Despite how far the computer, Internet, and social media have come, they're still in the relatively early stages of development -- maybe even the infantile, pre-adolescent stages. Just like with human toddlers, one of the most exciting and empowering developments for a young person is the discovery of the word "no." When a child first learns that they have the ability to say no, they usually get hooked on negating just about everything around them. "Do you want to take a bath?" "NO!" "It's time eat dinner now." "NO!" "Give your grandma a kiss." "NO!" "Do you like this game?" "NO!" In a world that's truly overwhelming for all of us, especially a young child, having the ability to say no -- to cancel out, defy, and deny -- is an extremely helpful and comforting tool. We can all agree that there's simply too much in the world to process and experience, so we do have to pick and choose what we say yes to, and no to.

...continue reading

This news item was posted on: April 30, 2014