Last week Youtube superstar Felix Kjellberg AKA PewDiePie’s house was broken into, and almost all of his and his wife’s belongings were stolen.
If you don’t know who PewDiePie is, don’t worry, it’s not super important.
What’s important is/was the reaction to the news. The internet was aflood for days with edgy posts from dingbats celebrating the fact that this millionaire celebrity had been robbed silly. I thought about quoting some of these super classy comments as examples, but decided not to give these people the attention they’re craving – and really the exact content of the tweets isn’t important either. Its more so the sentiment that bothers me.
The Internet is a mega-megaphone, allowing people to share really dumb ideas, and allowing really toxic attitudes to set in. Unfortunately, along with the ease of sharing information comes the ease of sharing unhealthy mindsets.
One that’s sunk into the subconscious of some is a really nasty tendency to celebrate the misfortune of others.
It really hit the mainstream a few years ago when a white supremacist was punched in the head during a video interview.
This blew up, and news about the incident went all over the place. The “Punch a Nazi” meme took off, and many responded with glee to the clip of the man getting slugged out of nowhere.
Some at the time warned that celebrating the misfortune of a person, no matter how gross their beliefs, was a slippery slope – that perhaps we shouldn’t encourage things like this. Those warning about a slippery slope were ignored, as they often are.
Fast-forward to where we are now. We’ve gone from celebrating neo-Nazi’s getting smacked, to celebrating a person getting robbed because he’s rich.
The sentiment behind both reactions is the same, despite the vast difference between the two people in question. The people cheering may dislike PewDiePie for whatever reason – be it the content he makes or the money he owns – and they were thrilled to celebrate the crime that terrified both him and his wife.
I feel vindictive, like everyone does, from time to time. Anger, stress, frustration, they all cause thoughts like that to bubble up. There’s people who’ve wronged me and upset me. It is just human nature to want some comeuppance to come their way.
But I always remind myself that’s not the person I want to be. I’m not aiming to be a guy that gets pleasure from the distress of others, no matter if they are some jerk with bad ideas or someone I know very well in person.
There’s simply no point, other than a little self-gratification.