It seems like every day there is something new to be outraged about. Is it important to be passionate about current affairs or is it unhealthy to care about everything?
What Is Outrage Culture?
Remember when everyone and their dog was up in arms about Apu? Yes, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from fictional show The Simpsons? The problem with Apu was obvious, it was racially insensitive and was played on every stereotype imaginable. Even though The Simpsons had been running for decades, it was almost as though everyone suddenly realised there might be a problem with the character. This is just one example of outrage culture. Another would be the very recent scandal involving Chinese athlete Sun Yang and Australian swimmer Mack Horton. Thanks to social media, everyone with internet access is able to voice their opinions (which can be a good thing) but also add fuel to the outrage fire. Having an understanding about every issue possible is well, impossible. But if you’re in the spotlight it’s almost a guarantee that if you don’t appear to be across all topics and sensitive to every cause, you’ll be outed. And probably outed on some form of social media. Much like actor Chris Pratt has been on multiple occasions for simply being tone deaf, is it really worth trolling someone on Instagram because they enjoying hunting and eating lamb?
Why Is Outrage Culture Bad?
We live in a world where sadly, bad things are happening all the time. The main issue experts have with outrage culture and this idea of calling people out, is that it usually misses out on the important issues. While it’s all well and good to call out your mate when they are being sexist, arguing with someone on Twitter because they don’t understand your hatred of animal activists isn’t going to end wars, famine and disease. Glossing over serious issues like climate change and mass shootings but instead pouring all your energy into being outraged about something comparatively trivial, is exactly why outrage culture is dangerous.
Outrage culture isn’t to say that being homophobic or racist is fine (it’s obviously not) it’s about not being able to say anything without some sort of repercussion. Even for normally liberal thinkers, tip toeing the murky waters of what’s “okay” to say is a struggle.
What do you think LiveTribers? Are we easily outraged by even the slightest thing?