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How Much They Hate It ? How Hate Culture Has Become the Routine of a Generation.

Have you ever wondered why people waste their time listening to a song just to tweet about how bad it is 30 seconds after hitting play? Or why people crowd around their TV screens to watch Love and Hip Hop only to create a dialogue about how bad it is for the culture? Honestly, the most unified moments on social media seems to be when we gather to nitpick and bemoan about how bad something is. Truthfully, though few would confess, there is some hedonistic pleasure in trashing the work of people who have some advantage over us in this age of the humblebrag. There is a thrill in combining our joy and hatred and with the existence of the Internet there is more to hate on: like that cheesy Thrift Shop song you can’t escape, the preachy dialogue of Newsroom that you just don’t get, the person who stole your ex, or the celebrity with no talent that is force fed to you on every gossip blog.

As you scroll past tweets, thumb through your Facebook newsfeed, or enter the comment section of any web platform, its as if you’ve entered a war zone of negative critique.

Thanks to the Internet, we are living in a world of over-saturation because everyone has a chance to be a star and we can watch that rise with just the click of a button. While our parents might think this is a mockery of true art, one must admit that the Internet and its social media platforms are responsible for an expansion of the entertainment industry that has pushed the boundaries of every medium of the culture from TV, to books, to music. The Internet has also provided the foundation for an overly involved and obsessive fandom and their hateful counterparts. As our generation begins to react to how artists or companies use the Internet in culturally innovative ways, the discourse becomes similar in the way our grandparents discussed the introduction of radios or television in the home. In this day and age, there’s a vast difference in who dominates the conversation; these days the haters have the most to say.

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As you scroll past tweets, thumb through your Facebook newsfeed, or enter the comment section of any web platform, its as if you’ve entered a war zone of negative critique. This falls into a newly identified social trend known as “hate-watching”, which involves people willingly watching bad shows with the purpose of tweeting about what they loathe. But we do not only hate-watch, we also hate-follow, hate-tweet, hate-read and hate-listen on a daily basis. Suddenly, one has to ask: why are we all such haters?

 “The Internet, however, has become the foundation for this judgey culture because it allows us to share every thought we have about everything we take in as it happens. With the cultural importance of social media, that scope of hate-participating can reach thousands of people with the proper use of a hashtag or the right retweet. We’re living in an era where it is publicly acceptable to shame and mock.”

A decade ago, there were probably people who tuned in and hated The Simple Life or who found The Da Vinci Code to be the most boring read.  Reviews for the most part were left for the critic and their hate stayed in the inconspicuousness of their homes. Maybe the next day their disdain would reach the people with whom they interacted. The Internet, however, has become the foundation for this judgey culture because it allows us to share every thought we have about everything we take in as it happens. With the cultural importance of social media, that scope of hate-participating can reach thousands of people with the proper use of a hashtag or the right retweet. We’re living in an era where it is publicly acceptable to shame and mock.

Hate is the new indicator of people in the know. In an era that is over-attentive, where everything can be stored on a few feeds on portable devices, no one really wants to miss out on anything. In that way hate is the new and acceptable form of satire. We participate in bashing Miley Cyrus because it’s more inviting than talking about how much we like the new song from the  nameless singer who has yet to become a trending topic. We battle to have the funniest reaction to an occurrence so that it can be seen by more eyes and possibly be included in a twitter reaction post on a popular blog. We hate-participate so that we won’t get scoffed at when we like things that others do not. We not only add to the white noise but we raise our voices a few octaves because we don’t want our peers to think we’re uninteresting.

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Why would we admit that we enjoy Drake’s crooning because it reminds us of the one person that is hard for us to forget ? Or that watching salacious reality dramas is our favorite guilty pleasure. Hate-doing gives us a pass to like anything that we feel is dim-witted. We hate because we like the convoluted dynamic of laughing at others while ignoring our lack of contribution. You did not write that horrible song that got close to a billion hits on YouTube, or come up with the show idea for the very fake “reality” star. Every minute we enter a discussion on everything we hate, we make less room to praise the things we love. Besides, hating is the newest accepted form of flattery.

While the things that become glorified on the Internet might not meet the intellectual standard of an academic scholar or that song you hate might not really be about anything, there is still a layer of value to draw from its existence. There has to be balance in life; the opportunity to assess the thought-provoking and the moments where one does not have to over think everything. This yin yang of the ratchet and the righteous is the best aspect of the realm of entertainment. It’s ok that you find Trinidad James’ musical catalog tantalizing or that you love watching Bad Girls Club because you get a kick out of the spectacles people make of themselves.

Enjoy the things that make you laugh or that you love to ride out to without worrying about other people’s critique on what are appropriate forms of high and low culture. Be yourself. This is America after all.

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