Why do the Facebook haters gotta hate?
Since the Black Eyed Peas came out with their song, “Where is the Love?” one might have thought that young people would have ceased hating and started embracing their fellow human beings.
Yet, it seems that even on Facebook, that bastion of sociability, where friends are collectibles and new social groups are a few clicks away, the nasty concept of severe dislike has followed us. Where, you might ask, does hate rear its ugly head? It is in no short supply within widely popular and time-wasting Facebook groups.
Not everyone hates seriously. Many “hate” groups on the Facebook are a joke, such as the “He-man Woman Haters Club” group, which is centered on a joke concerning the Little Rascals movie. Collegiate Squirrel Haters (Wash U Chapter)’s creator Liz Shane, a junior, said that she doesn’t seriously hate squirrels; she’s just occasionally peeved by them.
“They are ridiculously annoying and they make this weird noise like a dying crow,” she imparted with slight passion. But, she confessed, “It’s clearly a joke. It’s just a forum for people to discuss how annoying squirrels are and share funny stories,” explained Shane.
Many other “hate” groups are joking as well. Junior Jason Lewis, the creator of the “I hate humans” Facebook group, does not really hate humans. Rather, there are a lot of things that people do that really piss him and the members of his group off, like walking too slow and chewing gum with mouths open.
“‘I hate humans’ just has a better ring to it than, ‘I hate rude people,’” he said.
And hate is a great way to bring people together. A recent article in Psychology Today notes that new studies have shown that people bond more readily over common dislike, like a feeling of disgust for Britney Spears, than over a love of a teacher or broccoli.
A particular hatred that certainly brings together people on this campus is a hatred of popped collars. There are no less than four Facebook groups on the Wash. U. network that profess disgust for this fashion trend.
Sophomore Jon Wolff, creator of the group “Popped-collar Haterz,” said he created the group because guys who usually pop their collars are guys he considers kind of sleazy. He doesn’t really hate those who pop their collars now, however, and, although he is still listed as the creator, he has taken himself off as a member of his group, because he decided it was kind of stupid.
“I think people create Facebook groups of this nature to get attention,” he said, “and I realized that [in creating the group] I was doing the same thing on some kind of level as the guys who pop their collars.”
In Wolff’s opinion, Facebook groups are often created by freshmen interested in making themselves known. These groups don’t become serious until they become organized movements or groups, with meetings outside of cyberspace.
Yet the cumulative effect of the campus popped-collar hatred – on and off the Facebook – does manage to have consequences in real life.
Junior Jonah Fay-Hurvitz, while not severely affected by these groups in any way, noted that the idea of hating someone for their fashion choice is just ridiculous. Fay-Hurvitz used to pop his collar, but rarely does so anymore.
“I used to do it because I thought it looked better, and in high school nobody else did it,” he said. “But now guys who do it are considered tools or douchebags or jackasses. It has a whole different meaning from what it used to be.”
Pushing past popped collars, there is a point at which the Facebook hate group becomes a little less funny and a little more hateful, even without strong intentions for that message from the creators.
For instance, a Facebook group entitled, “Anti-Feminist.Quit ya Bitchin’, Get Back in the Kitchen,” has a catchy name which encourages even feminists to giggle, but nonetheless is one of the few Facebook groups which actually professes to hate people for the way they think.
Senior Ally D’Alba is a self-proclaimed feminist and the anti-feminist Facebook group does not really surprise her.
“People who dislike feminists just don’t really understand what we believe in,” said D’Alba. “They have an extreme view of us as lesbians who don’t shave their legs and hate men. Most feminists don’t even hate men.”
While D’Alba thinks that Facebook groups should remain outlets for free speech, she recognized the fact that there is a little bit of truth to every joke.
“A lot of jokes are anti-feminist, anti-gay or anti-woman, and you laugh, but they are really not that funny; they’re [slightly] offensive,” she said.
To most students, Facebook hate groups are not really of great concern. The Facebook group is not meant to be taken seriously and students don’t take it seriously. But therein lies a certain weakness: when serious subjects are treated with flippancy, whose opinions can we respect?
“I think [the creation of a Facebook hate group] illustrates cowardice to a certain extent,” said Fay-Hurwitz. “If people really hate something, to express it on Facebook is a little backhanded.and passive-aggressive. They don’t have to deal with the questions. They don’t have to justify their opinions.”
For example, the creator of one serious group was interviewed for this article and then rescinded all his comments. Even when hate is in a public sphere like Facebook, it seems difficult for those used to the protection of the impersonality of the internet to own up for what they put on it.
“If you really hate something, you should put yourself in a position where you should be responsible for what you say,” said Fay-Hurvitz.
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