Don’t Worry About the Internet

In an interview with Pitchfork, Skrillex addresses all the hate he gets on the internet. He shows a lot more common sense about it than most commentators and pundits do (he shows a lot of common sense about most things, in fact):

I don’t care if people hate me. I mean, I get it. When you were young, you were like, “The Backstreet Boys are gay!” And kids are on computers now. I’ll post something on Facebook, and then, within two seconds, there are comments: “Fuck you dude… you suck… pussy… bitch… faggot… you ruined dubstep… emo.” But if you look at their profiles, they’re so young. To everyone else on the street, there’s this really elitist, big group of haters everywhere. But fine. No offense to young kids.

The point about the age of commenters is important, but more important is the point about them being on computers in the first place. As Robert Lane Greene, in an article about Facebook in Intelligent Life points out, the real difference social networking has made isn’t in what people say, but in how far and how quickly what they say is broadcast, and in the resultant desire to say something outrageous just to get more attention (the other difference that Greene doesn’t mention is the attempt to commercialize these ephemeral statements, but that’s a different matter). What’s said is little different than what has been said on playgrounds, in lunchrooms, in kid’s bedrooms and between cubicles for years. That doesn’t make it any less stupid, but once the world adjusts to it (i.e., once the the generation for whom it’s second nature takes over), it won’t be any more meaningful, either. In a lot of ways, the complaints aren’t much different than those made about rock and roll in the 50s. That didn’t destroy the world, either; or if it did, we haven’t noticed it yet.