What is “social anger” and should we be concerned?

Social Anger Twitter Starbucks Red Green Cups Social Media Trolls Haters

As the internet fumed over Starbucks announcing green cups instead of their traditional red cups around Christmas time, there was only one question on my mind: what’s up with all the anger?

It seems like anything on the internet, no matter how trivial, is enough to spark controversy. Not just controversy, but actual raging anger. Case in point, people’s fury over the green Starbucks cups:

But, it’s not just brand marketing tactics that seem to get people riled up. One woman’s opinion on grocery store cookies seems to have stirred up inexplicable hatred in some people:


Trying to imagine the red-faced people behind these angry twitter posts, there’s one thing I want to know: are these people actually red-faced? Is it possible for someone to get angry over something this trivial? Or, are they just doing this for the fun of it?


Either answer doesn’t make me feel good about humanity. If people are genuinely angry then “social anger” denotes a deeper, disturbing sociological phenomenon that needs greater looking into. Ultimately, what someone needs to say to these people is “get a grip”. Animal cruelty, human trafficking, child abuse… these are just some of the things more worthy of your anger. In the list of all the things wrong in the world red Starbucks cups are on the bottom of it, right alongside Cadbury’s no-longer-dairy-milk cream eggs.


If people are doing it just for the fun of it, on the other hand, well, that’s just sad. Eat a cupcake, read a book, see a movie, go out with your friends, hug a dog. I don’t know about you, but to me, these things sound more fun than fuming over someone’s dislike of certain cookies.


At the end of the day, social venting could turn out to be a healthy way of unwinding. Or, it could turn out to be aggravating social frustration. Either way, there’s a question to be asked here. That’s all I’m saying.


Sunday's Food for Thought

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