Posts Tagged: The New Niceness

Your Life Sucks: A Recent History of "The New Niceness"

• November 19, 2012: "New Yorkers once carried mace; now we sit at home in cardigans and pickle cabbage. Angry young men while away quiet hours playing Angry Birds."

• December 21, 2009: "In this new world of nice netiquette, technology is designed to make it easier for everyone to love one another. After all, if you're not your 'real self' online, how will Leighton Meester know it's you who loved her dress at the Teen Choice Awards?"

• February 24, 2010: "It’s not just Internet logrollers riding the wave of positivity. Conan O’Brien signed off from NBC saying, 'Please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism—it’s my [...]


The Internet: It's Pretty Much As Mean As All Of Us

The New York Times takes some time out to haul out the always-salient question "What Is Wrong With People On The Internet?" today, this time in a Styles piece by Taffy Broedesser-Akner that looks at the more vicious reactions she received to a Salon article she had penned on the PTSD she dealt with after the particularly violent birth of her son. The Salon story eventually resulted in pseudonymous Internet people taking time out of their days to tell her things like "Do us all a favor — don't have any more kids." Yeesh. So much for The New Niceness!


The Top 25 Things Strangers Have Said or Typed Upon Connecting with Me on ChatRoulette This Weekend

25. "Ohhh, he's cute!"

24. "lol"

23. "WHAT?!"


21. "sing me a song"


The "Culture of Positivity" is a Bummer

Some of my favorite haters—Céline, Pound, Bernhard—seem to have been exceedingly nasty people. Maybe they needed to be, or whatever, but is art worth it? Rilke skipped his daughter's wedding because he didn't want to lose his concentration. I say go to her wedding, make her happy, it's just a poem, dude.

But I do admit to finding our culture of positivity a bummer. I agree with Adorno that "The common consent to the positive is a gravitational force that pulls us downwards." Vituperation is a defense against vapidity. I live in Mississippi at the moment, where social relations are modeled on the butterslide. Everyone is very polite, [...]


It (Isn't?) Easy Being Mean

In the end, I guess it's just so easy, and that's the whole problem.

It certainly was easy this past weekend. Sometime after a breakfast, but before a birthday picnic, I sat in my buddy's apartment as he checked in with Facebook. "Oh, I guess people are getting their iPads today," he said. Sure, I knew that people were waking up early and getting their long-awaited iPads, even camping out. (The only thing I've ever camped out for were Sting tickets, after his first and greatest solo album, so I sort of understand, but actually don't.) Anyway, he shows me a picture of what seems to be a nice [...]


Get Excited: "Vanity Googling" Is No Longer A Crime

Here is the latest Internet prescription to cure your socially networked ills! "Google yourself at least once a week," says strategic communications guru Richard Levick in a Wall Street Journal piece that has some more philosophizing about the new, high-speed brand of mean. (Sample sentence: "Drive over to Wal-Mart for a gallon of milk and you may end up on") Given that Google is currently tweaking its results pages to be even more up-to-the-minute with its data, checking out your cyber-breadcrumb trail might not be at least as not-bad of an idea as, I don't know, not putting stuff on the Internet that you don't want [...]


The New Niceness: Your Mom "Liked" This

Well we've known this for a while, so I guess now it's confirmed. Just a couple months ago, we discovered: the Internet is… making people… nicer? For instance, Tumblr was designed in a way that ensured that it "didn't have a lot of avenues for negativity," according to that first story! And in today's (actually very charming) Observer story, "There's a lot of incentive and positive reinforcement when you use Tumblr," is what Tumblr founder David Karp said. David Karp is your Internet mind-controller, because he will not install a button that says "I HATE THIS" on his blog platform! Still it is true I guess that no [...]